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Table of contents :
Front Cover
The Politial Formulation of Policy Solutions: Arguments, Arenas, and Coalitions
Copyright information
Table of contents
Notes on Contributors
1 Introduction – Policy Formulation: A Political Perspective
Policy formulation: an apolitical dominant perspective
The three political dimensions of policy solution formulation
A political approach to policy formulation
How coalitions bind problems and policy proposals
Building coalitions as owners of policy solutions
Competition and constraint in the arenas
Notes
References
2 Upcycling a Trashed Policy Solution? Argumentative Couplings for Solution Definition and Deconstruction in German Pension Policy
Introduction
The definition and deconstruction of solutions
The softening-up of proposals
Solution definition through argumentative coupling
Solution deconstruction through argumentative (de)couplings
‘Riester has failed’: solution deconstruction and redefinition struggles
The ‘multi-pillar paradigm’: definition of a new solution in German pension policy
Conclusion
Notes
References
3 Binding and Unbinding Problem–Solution Associations in US Agricultural Policy Making: The Introduction and Demise of Direct Payments to Farmers
Introduction
The ties that bind: connecting policy problems and policy solutions
Methodological considerations
Decoupled direct payments in US agriculture
The 1996 Farm Bill: freedom to farm
The 2002 Farm Bill: farmers can have their cake and eat it too
The 2008 Farm Bill: the lull before the storm
The 2014 Farm Bill: direct payments in the spotlight
Conclusion
Notes
References
4 The Role of Expert Reporting in Binding Together Policy Problem and Solution Definition Processes
Introduction
Reorienting water-quality policy solutions through a discrete medium: the biotic indicator in French rivers
Aligning and misaligning streams through expert categories: the case of green macroalgal blooms in Brittany
Binding without cementing: shortcomings of the dead-wood indicator in French forests
Discussion
Conclusion
References
5 Coalitions and Values in the Flow of Policy Solutions
What do we know about the flow of solutions?
Unpacking the concept of ‘value acceptability’
Hypothesis 1: The higher the side payments, the broader the political coalition is likely to be
Hypothesis 2: The more institutionalized the policy network, the less likely it is for externally advocated solutions to attract more support
Hypothesis 3: Short time horizons decrease the likelihood of political conflict, facilitating the process of building coalitions
Hypothesis 4: Solutions that substantially deviate from the status quo are more likely to appeal to policy actors if they are framed in terms of losses
Conclusion
Notes
References
6 The Marks of Ownership: The Promotion of Carbon Capture and Storage in France
Introduction
Rising hope (1993–2005): a dream of engineers in an expert space
Demonstration (2005–09): co-ownership by industrialists
The downfall (2010–14): when technical feasibility was exposed to the public forum
The phoenix is reborn (2015–20): conflictual definition between co-owners in the governmental arena
Summary of the four periods
Discussion
Conclusion
Notes
References
7 Anticipating Public Approval in the Binding of Immigrant Integration Problems and Solutions
Introduction
Targeting as part of the policy solution process
Methods
Targeting in Dutch immigrant integration policy making
Move to generic and indirect policies
Dilemmas of recognition
Reinstating (refugee) integration policies locally
Conclusion
References
8 Discourse Coalitions and the Messiness of Policy Solutions: College Governance in Nevada
Politics of higher education governance and governing boards in the US
Politics of higher education governance and governing boards in Nevada: context and coalitions
The hidden side of policy ideas: constructing policy solutions
Policy ideas and political strategy
Discourse coalitions: binding policy statements to solutions
Politics of policy solutions and discourse coalitions
References
9 Policy Solution Ownership: Road-Space Re-Allocation as a New Approach to Urban Mobility
Road-space re-allocation as a policy solution fitted for all seasons
Road-space re-allocation: drifting away from the car-centric city?
A policy solution to an ill-defined problem
Claiming ownership to overcome fragmentation
The emergence of a one-size-fits-all policy solution: problematization
The structuring of a large policy community: interessement
Disputing policy ownership across multiple spaces
Technicians and managers resisting city-wide road-space re-allocation in Malmö
Strengthening urban policy capacities through dynamic road-space management
Conclusion
Notes
References
Index
Back Cover
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THE POLITICAL FORMUL ATION OF POLICY SOLUTIONS ARGU M ENTS , ARENA S , AND COALITION S EDITED BY PHILIPPE ZIT TOU N , FR A NK FI SCHER , A ND NIKOL AOS Z A H A RI A DI S

THE POLITICAL FORMULATION OF POLICY SOLUTIONS Arguments, Arenas, and Coalitions Edited by Philippe Zittoun, Frank Fischer, and Nikolaos Zahariadis

First published in Great Britain in 2021 by Bristol University Press University of Bristol 1-​9 Old Park Hill Bristol BS2 8BB UK t: +44 (0)117 954 5940 e: bup-​[email protected] Details of international sales and distribution partners are available at bristoluniversitypress.co.uk © Bristol University Press 2021 British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library ISBN 978-​1-​5292-​1034-​7 hardcover ISBN 978-​1-​5292-​1036-​1 ePub ISBN 978-​1-​5292-​1035-​4 ePdf The right of Philippe Zittoun, Frank Fischer, and Nikolaos Zahariadis to be identified as editors of this work has been asserted by them in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved: no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without the prior permission of Bristol University Press. Every reasonable effort has been made to obtain permission to reproduce copyrighted material. If, however, anyone knows of an oversight, please contact the publisher. The statements and opinions contained within this publication are solely those of the editors and contributors and not of the University of Bristol or Bristol University Press. The University of Bristol and Bristol University Press disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any material published in this publication. Bristol University Press works to counter discrimination on grounds of gender, race, disability, age and sexuality. Cover design: Liam Roberts Front cover image: Gabriel Crismariu/unsplash Bristol University Press uses environmentally responsible print partners. Printed in Great Britain by CPI Group (UK) Ltd, Croydon, CR0 4YY

Contents Notes on Contributors 1 2

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Introduction –​Policy Formulation: A Political Perspective 1 Philippe Zittoun, Frank Fischer, and Nikolaos Zahariadis Upcycling a Trashed Policy Solution? Argumentative 21 Couplings for Solution Definition and Deconstruction in German Pension Policy Sonja Blum Binding and Unbinding Problem–​Solution Associations 45 in US Agricultural Policy Making: The Introduction and Demise of Direct Payments to Farmers Gerry Alons 73 The Role of Expert Reporting in Binding Together Policy Problem and Solution Definition Processes Magalie Bourblanc, Gabrielle Bouleau, and Philippe Deuffic Coalitions and Values in the Flow of Policy Solutions 93 Nikolaos Zahariadis 115 The Marks of Ownership: The Promotion of Carbon Capture and Storage in France Sébastien Chailleux 137 Anticipating Public Approval in the Binding of Immigrant Integration Problems and Solutions Ilona Van Breugel 151 Discourse Coalitions and the Messiness of Policy Solutions: College Governance in Nevada Magdalena Martinez Policy Solution Ownership: Road-​Space Re-​Allocation 173 as a New Approach to Urban Mobility Charlotte Halpern

Index

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Notes on Contributors Gerry Alons is Assistant Professor of International Relations at the

Department of Political Science, Radboud University, the Netherlands. Her research focuses on agricultural policies and governance, and how developments in these policies interact with transatlantic and multilateral trade relations. She particularly engages with questions on whether and how ideational variables such as norms, policy frames, and policy paradigms influence state preferences and public policies. Her research is published in a range of international journals, including the Journal of European Public Policy, West European Politics, Sociologia Ruralis, and Foreign Policy Analysis. Sonja Blum is a Researcher and Lecturer at the University of Hagen,

Germany, and Fellow at the KU Leuven Public Governance Institute, Belgium. She obtained her PhD in Political Science at the University of Münster, Germany. Sonja specializes in public policy and comparative social policy. She has published in journals such as Policy and Society, International Review of Administrative Sciences, Social Politics, Social Policy & Administration, and European Policy Analysis. Her current work focuses on issues of policy design, eligibility and target populations, narratives, and evidence use in policy making. Gabrielle Bouleau is a French political scientist at INRAE, the National

Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment, France. She graduated in environmental planning at AgroParisTech ENGREF in 1995. She completed her PhD in 2007 on the Europeanization of French water governance and indicators. In 2008, she spent one year at the University of California, Berkeley, USA as a post-​doctoral fellow. Since then her research has revolved around environmental policies and political ecology, with a specific focus on expertise. She recently published Politicization of environmental issues: From ecological forms to ecological motives (Wiley, 2019).

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Notes on Contributors

Magalie Bourblanc is a political scientist at CIRAD (French

Agricultural Research Centre for Development), UMR G-​EAU (joint research unit, ‘Water Management, Actors & Uses’), at the University of Montpellier (MUSE), France. She is also an extraordinary lecturer at the Faculty of Natural & Agricultural Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa. A specialist of the public policy instrumentation approach, her research currently engages with questions around the ‘uses and effects of expert knowledge and ecological reporting within public policies’ at the University of Bordeaux, France. She recently published ‘Expert reporting as a framing exercise: the controversy over green macroalgal blooms’ proliferation in France’, Science & Public Policy, 2019, 46(2): 264–​74. Sébastien Chailleux is on a tenure track and holds a Junior Chair on the

politicization of the utilizations of the subsurface for energy transition at the Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour (UPPA), France. He studies policy change, the role of expert knowledge, and the impacts of energy transition in different industries such as oil and gas, carbon storage, and mines. He has published peer-​reviewed articles on the political use of expert knowledge in policy making in Critical Policy Studies and Revue Internationale de Politique Comparée, on the sociology of official reports in Politique&Sociétés and Revue Internationale de Politique Comparée, and on the politicization of the subsurface in Extractive Industries and Society and Environment and Planning C. He is publishing a book on the pragmatic approach to policy making with P. Zittoun (Presses de Sciences Po, 2021). Philippe Deuffic is a French environmental sociologist at INRAE, the

National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment, France. He works on the social construction of environmental problems and forest stakeholders’ perceptions of biodiversity. He completed his PhD in 2012 on the agenda setting of deadwood as an environmental issue in different arenas of negotiations (from the European level to the regional level). Since then, he has been working on the ecologization of forest management practices, including nature-​based solutions as a means to reduce the impact of natural hazards and to enhance forest resilience. Frank Fischer was a Distinguished Professor of Politics and Global

Affairs at Rutgers University, USA until 2015. He is currently a senior research scholar at the Albrecht-​Daniel-​Thaer Institute of the Humboldt University in Berlin and a research fellow in politics at

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THE POLITICAL FORMULATION OF POLICY SOLUTIONS

Kassel University, Germany. In addition, he is a co-​editor of Critical Policy Studies, co-​editor of the Advancing critical policy studies book series and editor of the Handbook of research on public policy series for Edward Elgar. He has widely lectured around the world on environmental politics, participatory governance, and the argumentative turn in policy analysis. Among his 17 books and a large number of essays are the Handbook of critical policy studies, co-​edited with D. Torgerson, A. Durnova, and M. Orsini (Elgar, 2015) and Climate crisis and the democratic prospect (Oxford University Press, 2017). Truth and post-​truth in public policy (Cambridge University Press) will be published in 2021. He has also received a number of awards, including the Harold Lasswell Award for Contributions to Public Policy Scholarship and the Aaron Wildavsky APSA Award for Enduring Contributions to the Field of Public Policy Studies. Charlotte Halpern holds a PhD in political science and is a tenured

researcher at Sciences Po, Centre for European studies and comparative politics (CEE), CNRS, Paris, France. Her published works examines processes of policy change and the relationship between social mobilizations and the dynamics of state restructuring. Her current research focuses on comparative urban governance and policies in the context of rapidly evolving forms of political regulation and energy transitions. This includes research done on sustainable urban transport in European capital cities and on the metropolitan governance of water systems in South American cities. Recent publications include special issues and articles in several journals (Comparative European Politics, West European Politics, Politique européenne, and Espacestemps.net) and two edited volumes: Policy analysis in France (Policy Press, 2018, co-​edited with P. Hassenteufel and P. Zittoun) and Villes sobres (Presses des Sciences Po, 2018, co-​edited with D. Lorrain and C. Chevauché). She teaches comparative public policy analysis, comparative urban governance, and environmental policies at Sciences Po. Magdalena Martinez is an Assistant Professor in the School of Public

Policy and Leadership, College of Urban Affairs at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA and the Director of Education Programs with The Lincy Institute. Her areas of expertise include Latinx, education policy, leadership, access and equity for underrepresented student populations, and the role of higher education in a diverse society. She regularly provides expert testimony (K-​12 and postsecondary) on education policy issues and is involved in numerous efforts to build capacity through education research and policy. She holds a PhD from

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Notes on Contributors

the University of Michigan, USA, a Master’s degree from Harvard University, USA, and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA. Ilona Van Breugel works as a lecturer and researcher in urban planning

at the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands. Her research focuses on the local governance of immigrant integration. She obtained her PhD in public administration at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Previously, she worked in several European research projects (project Upstream and Volpower) and worked as a lecturer in the Governance of Migration and Diversity Master’s Program, the Erasmus Mundus Master’s Program in Public Policy, and the Public Administration Bachelor’s Program. Nikolaos Zahariadis is the Mertie Buckman Chair and Professor of

International Studies at Rhodes College in Memphis, USA. He has published widely on issues of comparative public policy and European political economy. He has been awarded two Fulbright Scholarships in Germany and Italy, and has been a Policy Studies Organization Fellow, a National Bank of Greece Senior Research Fellow, an ESRC-​ SSRC Fellow, as well as (thrice) President of the International Studies Association-​South and Chair of the public policy interest section of the European Union Studies Association. He currently co-​edits the International Review of Public Policy. His work has appeared in major presses –​such as the University of Michigan Press and Georgetown University Press –​and key journals –​Policy Studies Journal, Journal of European Public Policy, Policy Sciences, International Studies Quarterly, Comparative Political Studies, and Comparative Politics, among others. Philippe Zittoun is a Research Professor of Political Science at LAET,

ENTPE, University of Lyon, France and General Secretary of the International Public Policy Association. He has published several books and articles on the policy-​making process and its political issues. He is a member of the editorial board of several important journals of public policy. He is also co-​editor of the international series on public policy for Palgrave. Among these books, he has published The political process of policy making (Palgrave, 2014), Policy analysis in France, co-​edited with C. Halpern and P. Hassenteufel (Policy Press, 2017), Contemporary approaches to public policy, co-​edited with B. Guy Peters (Palgrave, 2016) and will be publishing Public policy under pressure with Sébastien Chailleux (Presses de Sciences Po, forthcoming) and Handbook of teaching public policy with E. St-​Denny (Edward Elgar, forthcoming).

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Introduction –​Policy Formulation: A Political Perspective Philippe Zittoun, Frank Fischer, and Nikolaos Zahariadis

In the 1960s and 1970s, controversies related to the policy process began to emerge, in particular as they pertained to the policy decision-​making process. Criticizing both pluralist theory and behaviouralist approaches, Schattschneider (1960), later followed by Cobb and Elder (1971, p 896) and Bachrach and Baratz (1970, p 44), suggested that the pre-​decision process is a ‘highly restricted’ arena of conflicts in which some demands can be ‘suffocated’ or reinterpreted through the ‘manipulation of bias’ to prevent their emergence in decision arenas. This strategy was used to reduce the capacity of particular demands to attract the attention of decision makers and others, including the media and the general public. The authors insisted on recognizing the importance of the unequal political configurations of actors in the arena. Building on this perspective, Rochefort and Cobb (1994) published The Politics of Problem Definition, which helped to establish a link between definitional activities focused on problems and their asymmetric positions in relation to political power. While this political perspective on the struggles surrounding problem definitions has been largely shared in policy studies by most authors and integrated into textbooks and handbooks about the policy process since the 1970s,1 the question of ‘policy formulation’ –​referring to the specification of alternatives –​has been studied using different approaches, including competing methodological perspectives, with

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no general consensus emerging. In so far as problem definition occurs within arenas of visible conflict in which dominant actors try to suppress opposing views, the formulation of solutions takes place in relatively hidden spaces where groups of dominant actors seek to contribute to the stability (or change) of the policy-​making process by choosing and imposing their preferred solutions (Heclo and Wildavsky 1974; Richardson and Jordan 1979). As Kingdon (1984) observed, the contested and conflictual dynamic of problem definition contrasts with the incrementalist mode of policy formulation. Focusing on the stability of policy solution formulation, Kingdon’s perspective plays an important role in explaining policy change resulting from external factors that can disturb a punctuated equilibrium (Baumgartner and Jones 1993). Political conflict often appears outside the policy formulation process. Why, then, does the policy formulation stage appear as apolitical and non-​conflictual in numerous studies? Is it because researchers, for theoretical and methodological reasons, do not see the conflict? One of the main differences between problem definition and policy formulation is undoubtedly the visibility of the arenas where discussions and disputes take place. If problem definition takes place essentially in the public media arena, debates about policy solutions occur primarily within hidden arenas, inside opaque bureaucracies, in discrete meetings among experts, scientists, politicians, interest groups, and select Members of Parliament. In fact, a closer look shows that these hidden arenas reveal conflictual politics involving different offices, departments and ministries. The main aim of this book is to stress the political dimension of policy solution formulation to show that this stage can be, and often is, as political and conflictual as the problem definition process. Putting aside the idea that a policy solution is expected to be an objective and neutral instrument, we propose closer observation of the multiple arenas where the formulation of policy solutions takes place and where multiple actors in different configurations engage in definitional and political struggles. The main idea is to change the perception of an otherwise relatively secluded apolitical and stable policy process by proposing a dynamic view where actors fight in different arenas to impose their formulation of policy solutions and to assert their ownership. Considering that most conflicts take place in multiple arenas with very limited access, we pay attention to how, when and where the different actors engage in conflict about policy formulation.

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INTRODUCTION

Policy formulation: an apolitical dominant perspective Jordan and Turnpenny (2015) have pointed out that policy formulation has long remained the most underdeveloped stage of the policy cycle. Typically, it has been presented as the second pre-​decision phase with little or no conflict or political struggle. This, however, has begun to change in recent times, particularly as more scholars have turned to studying policy design and analysing instruments and tools inherent in the formulation process. What, then, does policy formulation entail? Broadly speaking, it involves government officials, politicians, and other policy actors seeking answers to questions about how social systems can best deal with the problems that affect their citizens, organizations, and institutions. Given the scope and range of the potential questions, the general focus is on issues and topics of considerable interest to numerous public and private participants. Despite the fact that they are usually shut out of this formulation process, they have an interest in how these activities should be undertaken and the types of tools that should be used (Howlett and Mukherjee 2017). It is, in short, about how policy solutions are crafted (Wildavsky 1989). More specifically, policy formulation involves identifying and/​or crafting a set of policy alternatives to address a problem and narrowing them down to a set of solutions in preparation for the final decision to be made at the next stage. Policy formulation is generally understood as taking up the ‘what’ questions: What is the plan for dealing with the problem? What are the goals and priorities? What options are available to achieve those goals? What are the costs and benefits of each of the options? And what externalities, positive or negative, are associated with each alternative (Cochran and Malone 2014)? The questions are then typically explored using the standard methods of rational policy analysis, focusing on efficiency, costs and benefits, and political feasibility. But this rational perspective has been criticized by nearly all of the empirical studies that have focused on the policy process itself. One of the first studies was undertaken by Herbert Simon (1983), who argued that drawing up a list of policy alternatives was always an incomplete activity given the nature and amount of accessible information available and the limited cognitive capacities of human beings. After an empirical analysis of the decision-​making process of a municipality, he also pointed to the importance of the conflictual dimension between different departments that defended their own policy alternatives. Elaborating on this perspective, Charles Lindblom developed the metaphor of ‘muddling through’ and used the concept

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of ‘partisan mutual adjustment’ to describe how actors find and select policy alternatives (Lindblom 1965, 1979). As a result of more studies of the policy process in the 1970s, policy formulation emerged more as a specific and partially autonomous stage of the policy-​making process. Lindblom, for example, explained that ‘the play of power is a process of cooperation among specialists’ (Lindblom 1968, p 30) and insisted that policy analysis and policy advice in terms of policy alternatives can be understood as a form of power play. Similarly, Jones (1970) suggested that scholars should focus on identifying the formulators, in particular civil servants but occasionally interest groups or legislators. Meanwhile, Heclo and Wildavsky (1974) analysed how a group of high-​ranking civil servants extensively worked together to become a relatively small policy community with strong relationships, much like a village. Pursuing this idea, Kingdon (1984) placed emphasis on the autonomous dynamics of the formulation phase involving policy experts and bureaucrats who pursue their own logic and interests. Drawing on a study by Cohen et al (1972), Kingdon (1984) argued that the policy formulation phase is independent of the definition of the problem. For Wildavsky (1989), finding a solution is more of an art than a rational analysis and depends more on the persuasive abilities of those proposing the solution than on the quality of the solution itself. While these authors have insisted on the autonomy of the policy formulation phase, paradoxically, they have also failed to adequately consider the political dimensions of this activity in the same way as they have considered the politics of agenda setting. For example, while Cobb and Elder insisted on the political capacity of policy makers to fight against and prevent certain problems from making it onto the government agenda, they did not address the political conflict among different policy alternatives during the pre-​decision phase, including how some policy makers often seek to prevent certain solutions from being seriously considered (Cobb and Elder 1971; Elder and Cobb 1984). Much in the formulation phase tends to be largely hidden from sight, with fewer participants involved compared with the more societally oriented agenda-​setting phase. In short, most of the work takes place out of the public eye. This is thus the ‘backroom’ dimension of policy formulation. It takes place in government bureaucracies, in legislative committee rooms, in the meetings of special commissions, in think tanks, and in interest groups’ offices, with the details formulated by their respective staff. In other words, policy formulation is often the realm of the policy experts, the ‘hidden participants’ –​technocrats and

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INTRODUCTION

knowledge elites –​of Kingdon’s (1984) policy stream and of Heclo’s and Wildavsky’s (1974) policy community. All too often this conceptualization has led to a neglect or downplaying of the underlying political realities that shape these ‘what’ questions. It is not that the political nature of these questions has faded away, but rather that they have remained more implicit than explicit. In part, this is the result of the fact that the play of politics at this stage tends to be hidden behind closed doors. But it is also overlooked or ignored by a discipline that has too often emphasized the more observable technical dimensions of issues than their political constructions. In recent years, for instance, a number of prominent scholars have even attempted to develop a ‘machine’ model of the policy formation process that altogether neglects to take into account this political dimension (Jorgensen 2017; Wilder 2017). Inspired by the positivist logic of a model imported from natural or physical sciences, they propose to grasp the policy formulation process as an objective phenomenon provoked by exogenous causalities. They rarely take into account the undetermined conflictual dimension during the policy formulation process and the importance of the definitional struggles and social meanings that occur in relation to the problem in question. Part of the apolitical orientation that has plagued research on policy formulation can be found in the fact that policy scholars tend to assume that the participants in the policy process have already politically defined a problem and chosen a solution, which they then place on the policy agenda. For them, formulating alternatives involves the supposedly less political task of identifying a broad range of approaches to solving a problem and then designing specific sets of policy tools for each approach. Further, the focus is on drafting the legislation or regulatory language for each alternative, that is, describing the tools (for example, sanctions, grants, prohibitions, rights, and so on) and articulating to whom or what they will apply, as well as when they will take effect. Selecting from among these smaller sets of possible solutions from which decision makers will ultimately choose involves applying a set of criteria to the alternatives –​for instance, judging their technical feasibility, political acceptability, costs, and benefits. One approach, the Advocacy Coalition Framework, differs to some extent by taking more seriously than other approaches the conflictual dimension among coalitions. It focuses on how policy makers choose to defend one solution rather than another by linking their arguments to their values, political orientations, and various norms that precede the policy formulation process itself (Weible and Jenkins-​Smith 2016).

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But the argumentative dynamics in this approach largely emphasize debates among experts in policy subsystems. Beyond these general considerations, work on policy formulation looks at a variety of specific issues. In particular, it examines the factors that influence how actors craft solutions and prescribe means and methods for such alternatives, and it examines how and why particular policy choices remain on or fall off the decision agenda (Parsons 1996). Such work also considers particular policy tools and trends in use, as well as the social and political characteristics of problems and target groups (Schneider and Ingram 2005). Some policy formulation scholars see the need to deal with questions about the array of interests involved and the balance of power held by participants, the dominant ideas and values of these participants, the coalitions they form, the institutional structures of the alternative-​setting process, and more broadly the historical, political, social, and economic contexts in which the policy process is set. Attention to policy formulation also leads to the study of numerous other topics embedded in the theories of policy subsystems, advocacy coalitions, issue networks, and policy communities. Although these topics are political in nature, the primary focus has nonetheless been on the instrumental dimensions of policy formulation. This instrumental focus has been an essential concern of the critique of the mainstream understanding of policy formulation by those with an interpretive or constructivist perspective. They seek to put policy studies in the historical sociopolitical context that shaped them –​that is, the way in which political forces shape the construction of the policy orientation in general and policy formulation in particular. From this perspective, the focus on instrumental reason and the role of technocrats and knowledge elites in policy formulation can be traced to the 1950s, in particular to the writings of Dahl and Lindblom. These authors urged scholars to take up the study of public policies rather than to continue to focus on political ideology as the critical aspect of political systems (Dahl and Lindblom 1963). Based on their observation that the USSR and the United States (US) used the same types of policies to fight against inflation regardless of ideological differences, they argued that broad debates about the ideological merits of capitalism versus socialism were becoming less important to the wellbeing of society than was careful consideration of the myriad policy ‘techniques’ that might be used to regulate the economy and to advance particular social values. They suggested that policy details matter, even that both capitalism and socialism may advance through any number of similar policies, and that selection from the policies has important consequences. They thus called on scholars to study public

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INTRODUCTION

policy, which should supplement, even perhaps replace, the traditional focus on parties and ideologies. Indeed, Lindblom became one of the leaders of the new field. It was an argument that received increasing support over the years from numerous books emphasizing the growing importance of policy experts, scientists, and planners in the guidance of political systems. This included the increasing significance of knowledge in decision-​making processes, in particular the role of new information technologies and scientific techniques, played out in relatively bureaucratic arenas. Galbraith (1967), for example, located the new focus of power in the hands of those with technical expertise, or what he called the ‘technostructure’. Daniel Bell (1972) wrote about the coming of a post-​industrial society in which new information technologies –​ particularly computers, systems theory, and cybernetics –​play a greater role. Theorizing the same trends, Alain Touraine (1971) spoke of ‘programmed societies’ that extend the processes of rationalization foreseen by Weber. It is a perspective that was increasingly shared by many European political scientists and sociologists. This development was widely greeted with optimism. In the political realm, President Kennedy asserted that most of the policy problems that advanced societies face are increasingly technical and administrative in nature. They involve sophisticated judgements that do not lend themselves to passionate political movements, are largely beyond the comprehension of most citizens, and are mainly matters for experts. Kennedy’s own administration called leading scholars to Washington to offer policy advice on the pressing issues of that period, labelling it the ‘New Frontier’ (Fischer 1990). This background represents in significant part the political and ideological context in which policy studies was founded. We can see, as such, the way specific political interests and priorities were built into the endeavour, both explicitly and implicitly, giving rise to a discipline designed to support a particular conception of governance, largely a form of elitist democracy with an expanding central welfare state bureaucracy, managed by specialized experts in need of policy information. In this model, political elites established governmental goals, with an expanding cadre of technical experts supplying the necessary programmatic information. Scholars, with the assistance of an array of universities, foundations, and government agencies, heeded this call to study public policy, especially from the 1960s onward (Fischer 1990, 2009; Allison 2006). Along the way, the shift led not only to a dramatic expansion of technically oriented policy experts, but also to a slow but steady

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recognition that they were in numerous ways performing political tasks heretofore relegated to politicians, if carried out at all. It became clear, for example, that the choice of policy instrument often determined both policy winners and policy losers (Heclo and Wildavsky 1974). Some applauded it as a step towards good governance, but others worried that it did not bode well for democratic government. Still today, too many policy scholars have forgotten or neglected the fact that policy formulation, as Lasswell (1936) emphasized, is part of a political process concerning ‘who gets what and how’. For Schattschneider (1960), conflict was the central dimension directing the play of politics, which turned on competing policy beliefs and the programmatic construction of solutions drawn from them. Indeed, it is this relatively neglected political construction of alternative solutions that the chapters in this book explore.

The three political dimensions of policy solution formulation Far short of examining all policy alternatives to solve specific problems, policy makers consider only a few policy solutions, mainly those viewed as ‘credible’ or ‘feasible’. Policy formulation works in this way as a filter system in which policy makers, supported by a specific configuration of key political players, attempt to advance their proposals while seeking to defeat the alternative proposals of others. As is the case with agenda setting, we can also see an agenda of possible policy solutions. The political dimension of the policy formulation phase involves regrouping the selection of alternatives to reduce the number on the governmental agenda. The argument filter is the first selective process that filters policy alternatives. This filter concerns the formulation of policy alternatives, much in the same way that Rochefort and Cobb (1994) suggested for the definition of the public problem. During the pre-​decision phase, policy alternatives seeking recognition as possible policy solutions must be clarified in terms of their meaning, values, goals, possible outputs, outcomes, and capacity to solve public problems. Even though Lasswell’s approach was more prescriptive than descriptive, he highlighted this need for clarification and suggested that policy makers need to have ‘an adequate strategy of problem solving [that] encompasses five intellectual tasks … goal clarification … trend description … analysis of conditions … projection of developments … [and] invention, evaluation and selection of alternatives’ (Lasswell 1971, p 39). In this way, he helped to shed light on how policy makers

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INTRODUCTION

should give meaning to their alternatives. But clarifying tasks is not just about crafting better policies; it also serves as a powerful elimination filter. Here we encounter the process of critical arguments (Majone 1992; Chateauraynaud 2011). For example, a policy proposal that is criticized for its lack of goal clarity or its incapacity to solve a problem can be dropped from the debate. If an argument filter is employed among policy researchers during problem definition, it receives less attention when the question turns to policy formulation (Fischer 2003). The emphasis of the prescriptive approach to policy analysis, which is focused on the ‘clarification’ task, and the failure to recognize that a solution is independent of the problem definition (Cohen et al 1972), have contributed to a situation in which the importance of social and political meaning is underestimated. However, meaning is always central. Instead of questioning what came first between policy problems and policy alternatives, we focus here on the capacity of policy makers to bind these two concepts together and transform them into coherent and meaningful statements that they can support. As we have seen, definitional activities are carried out to impose public problems on the agenda or suffocate them. In a similar manner, we seek to assess meaning activities around policy alternatives and their capacity to solve problems (Zittoun 2014, 2016). The question here is: how is an idea transformed into a possible policy solution that solves a problem on the governmental agenda? This second filter is linked to the ability of policy actors to find support in terms of the argument for a particular meaning within a discourse coalition (Hajer and Wagenaar 2003). Considering that collective action is never obvious nor necessarily associated with ‘objective variables’, investigators must examine the capacity of policy actors to argue, deliberate, and define their identities and interests, and, in the process, convince other actors in a discourse coalition to accept the meaning of a given statement (Hajer and Wagenaar 2003; Fischer and Gottweis 2012). By opening the black box of coalition building, the key objective is to observe how policy actors reach agreement around a shared statement that cements their coalition (Zittoun 2013). The process does not require actors to reject the more objective and instrumental criteria of efficiency and effectiveness that generally dominate policy deliberations. Instead, the purpose is to understand the role of efficiency and effectiveness in argumentation within specific social and political contexts. It recognizes that in policy practices, efficiency is never a free-​standing ideal that determines its own meaning; it is, instead, like all social and political criteria, both

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THE POLITICAL FORMULATION OF POLICY SOLUTIONS

encompassed by and imbued with social understandings that give meaning to those engaged in the policy-​making process. A political constructivist perspective therefore seeks to show the ways in which the politics of policy formulation operate in a discursive context shaped by social, political, and cultural assumptions. Far from being only discursive and argumentative, this binding process that links policy makers through a common policy solution can also be considered to be an ownership activity, connecting the policy proposal to the identity of its proposers (Gusfield 1981, 1989). In this perspective, a proposal cannot be separated from its speaker or its situational context. The group of actors who collectively call for a policy solution also takes ownership of this solution. This means that when a group defends a ‘fair’ solution, it defines itself as a ‘fair’ group. The concept of ‘ownership’ was first proposed by Joseph Gusfield (1981)2 to underline the unequal position of groups in defining a problem3 among other competing groups. It may also be used in terms of policy solutions, when the discursive solution coalition is being built, to remind us that all groups are not equal in the process of defining a solution. The classical example of the Cuban missile crisis (Allison and Zelikow 1999) reminds us that the bureaucratic division of labour is also structured by the politics of solution ownership. The US Air Force was the owner of bombing raids and the US Navy was the owner of the blockade –​two competing solutions to solve the missile crisis. To own a solution is not only to define and claim a policy solution, but also to establish who has the authority to define, manage, and implement it. The third dimension is the importance of conflict and power plays in the multiple spaces of dispute (Freund 1990; Mouffe 2013; Cefaï 2016). Because a policy solution cannot be separated from the powerful position of its owners, arguing about the efficiency of a proposal to convince other policy actors is never enough (Foucault 1971; Bourdieu 1982, 2014). The ownership coalition also has to fight against other actors who criticize its statements and against other coalitions that support competing solutions. Their conflicts are generally argumentative and focus on the causal chains that bind problems and policy solutions or on the link between coalitions and their proposals. Such conflict is omnipresent in the policy process. It is particularly present in the media spaces where debates are held and involves definitions, arguments, and critiques. Most policy perspectives consider that policy formulation takes place in one main space, referred to as a ‘policy subsystem’ (Baumgartner and Jones 1993; Hall 1993; Sabatier and Weible 2007; Howlett et al 2009), a ‘village’ (Heclo and Wildavsky 1974), or a ‘policy stream’

10

INTRODUCTION

(Kingdon 1984). These perspectives underestimate the fact that policy proposals may circulate across several spaces that have different political configurations of actors and modes of regulation, and thus cannot be reduced to one unique space. A space of dispute needs to be considered as an institutionalized space where a number of actors interact to discuss policy proposals. It also typically features a dominant knowledge consensus put forward by leading policy experts. Such a consensus seeks to determine what constitutes acceptable knowledge, how to get it, and who has the authority to affirm it. In ways somewhat similar to the kind of discursive politics that Foucault spoke of, it attempts to set out the sorts of statements and arguments that determine what constitutes valid knowledge and what does not, what is feasible and what is not, what is acceptable and what is not, and so on. Such a consensus need not be present in all policy space; moreover, one can also find a conflictual politics of expertise, where one group of experts challenges another to dominate. Where a dominant consensus is present, however, it can impose common criteria of comparison that allow for assessments between different policy alternatives, goals, and consequences (Boltanski and Thévenot 1991), often biased in favour of the decisions of particular groups. Dominated by experts, at times from different backgrounds, such a ‘policy regime’ works to limit and control the entrance of actors and the acceptability of arguments. For example, a juridical regime gives lawyers and other legal specialists the capacity to rule over the policy space by establishing what is juridically feasible (Foucault 1971). Focused on the same concerns, Majone (1992) also points to the political importance of arguments about ‘feasibility’ in some expert and bureaucratic spaces that impose ideas while blocking alternatives that deviate from the dominant expectations. In a similar vein, Heclo and Wildavsky (1974) have indicated the ways in which this can happen through an ability to manage common expert languages. However, some spaces of dispute are less regulated and more open to contestation as they have no clear mode of regulation and domination. The public arena, for example, is a good example of a space of dispute where different groups compete to define a problem or formulate a solution. Even if access to the public arena is not totally open, the capacity to speak to the media is less limited than in some other spaces. Another example is the multiple meetings organized by a Prime Minister or a President and his/​her cabinet to regulate the process of policy formulation. As Allison (Allison and Zeliklow, 1999) observed in his studies of Kennedy’s meetings (in search of a ‘good’ solution to

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THE POLITICAL FORMULATION OF POLICY SOLUTIONS

the missile crisis), different departments engaged in conflict as they developed their own arguments and their own regimes of truth.

A political approach to policy formulation We thus examine an under-​researched area in the policy process: the politics of formulating policy solutions. Placing our approach within a broader political framework, we argue that the process of formulating solutions and agreeing on which solutions better address which problems is a politically contested one. In contrast to the technocratic, behind-​the-​scenes image that the process currently enjoys in the literature (Heclo 1978; Kingdon 1984; Sabatier and Weible 2007), the contributors to this volume uncover a robust, mostly conflict-​prone process that is closely linked to political power. In this perspective, technocracy and efficiency are considered to be political arguments that allow some actors to dominate the process. We pay attention to three aspects of this process, which correspond to the three political filters we evoked earlier. First, we investigate the meaning process that transforms an idea, an alternative, or a tool, into a possible policy solution that a government may consider to solve a public problem or to prevent it from reaching the governmental agenda. Specifically, we seek to unpack the dynamics of the binding of a public problem and a particular solution. Coalitions filter discursive elements of solutions in politically expedient ways that link particular elements to specific audiences in order to elicit political support. We call this process ‘binding’. Second, policy proposals do not exist independently of the people who formulate them. Therefore, to understand how proposals become solutions, scholarly attention must be placed squarely on the dynamics of coalition formation. Each coalition waves its own preferred solution as the distinguishing flag that conveys meaning and political power. The chances of specific solutions prevailing over others as serious contenders for consideration by policy makers can increase when coalitions can claim ownership of the solution. Ownership confers political benefits in the form of who supports it and how it is framed. Third, the contexts of solution creation and survival are important elements of the process. The institutional venues within which solutions are shaped strongly affect the chances of solution survival, that is, whether or not it will receive serious consideration by policy makers. We conclude that such spaces of dispute are not politically neutral but part and parcel of the policy-​making process. To understand how public

12

INTRODUCTION

problems are defined in the policy process, scholars must, in short, also pay equal attention to how policy solutions are politically formulated.

How coalitions bind problems and policy proposals Chapter 2, by Sonja Blum, contributes to a better understanding of binding activities by policy actors and of the argumentative processes through which ‘measures’ or ‘instruments’ are defined into policy solutions. Moreover, the chapter shows that policy making is not a linear process; it involves policy change (or even reversal), which often requires actors to deconstruct and then replace previous solution definitions. The chapter presents the concept of ‘argumentative coupling’ and employs it to study reforms of German pension policy. The case is insightful in terms of both solution definition and argumentative deconstruction. In the early 2000s, the German pay-​ as-​you-​go pension system was under pressure given demographic changes and an ageing population, and the problems were linked to an undermining of public solutions and the promotion of private provision as an alternative. However, with a zero interest rate policy, low returns, and increasing poverty among older people as a result of a lean public pension scheme, the argumentative coupling itself came under pressure in the 2010s and was, at least partly, decoupled again. The case study highlights the importance of definitional struggles in different spaces of dispute for understanding the definition and, also, notably, the challenge, deconstruction, and rejection of policy solutions. Chapter 3, by Gerry Alons, applies a political constructivist approach to the introduction and development of decoupled direct payments to farmers in the US. It specifically focuses on the binding dimension of the approach, emphasizing how the discursive battles involved in coupling and binding policy problems and solutions interact with developments in a policy context. By situating the discursive battles involved in shaping problem-​solution constructions within the institutional, political, and economic context –​which constrains not only the power constellations between policy actors, but also the type of problem-​solution associations that can convincingly and appropriately be constructed –​the chapter explains both the rise and the demise of decoupled farm payments in the US. It simultaneously shows how a political constructivist approach can help uncover the interaction between contextual factors, actor interests, and discursive strategies in the process of policy solution formulation to arrive at a better understanding of the timing and substance of policy change.

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THE POLITICAL FORMULATION OF POLICY SOLUTIONS

Chapter 4, by Bourblanc, Bouleau, and Deuffic, studies scientific expert reporting as a type of political work that can powerfully bind public problems with policy solutions. Expert categories display the same properties as policy instruments (Lascoumes and Le Galès 2005), that is, they implicitly carry specific frames and induce lock-​in effects. These lock-​in effects ensure that the proponents of expert categories –​ and the coalition they have built around them –​can retain ownership of policy solution statements. The authors show that the places where expert categories are constructed are spaces of dispute, although they are often closed arenas. They sometimes give rise to fierce disputes (for example, the nitrates indicator), potentially destabilizing dominant policy coalitions in some cases (for example, the biotic indicator). In other cases, uncertain and surprising outcomes may also arise, resulting from associations with sometimes unreliable ‘ecological’ allies (for example, the deadwood indicator).

Building coalitions as owners of policy solutions Chapter 5, by Nikolaos Zahariadis, explains the trajectory of policy alternatives by stressing the importance of discourse coalitions built to support solutions. The author stresses the key role played by policy entrepreneurs who argue to persuade other actors to join the coalition by shaping their preferences, altering timeframes, offering material incentives, and manipulating institutional rules. The building of coalitions is thus dependent on the discursive propagation of the policy network within which actors interact and the binding dynamic between ideas and actors that allows coalitions to politically own policy solutions. Chapter 6, by Sébastien Chailleux, develops the implications of owning a policy solution. Chailleux asserts that discreet spaces of dispute are an important location for experts to build policy solutions without much publicization. In such spaces, a specific regime of feasibility defines what an acceptable proposal is and redefines the problem the solution is expected to fix. The chapter looks at climate change, where experts from public research centres and private companies come together in such discreet spaces to defend their ability to reduce carbon emissions with geological carbon storage. Translated into technical terms, a public problem such as climate change becomes an issue of industrial carbon emissions, solvable through carbon capture and storage. The analysis shows that this proposal bore the hallmarks of both its co-​owners: carbon storage is defined as a global technical solution without paying much attention to the social conditions of implementation; it is also a market-​based solution that is subject to

14

INTRODUCTION

funding issues. While these marks of ownership helped to strengthen the proposal in discreet spaces of dispute, the chapter shows that they became a liability in the public forum, where carbon storage as the solution from the oil and gas industry to limit radical energy policy change was criticized.

Competition and constraint in the arenas Chapter 7, by Ilona Van Breugel, looks at targeting as an essential and insightful step in the policy solution formulation process. By studying how people are classified and categorized as target groups in Dutch immigrant integration policies, the chapter illustrates how the formulation of policy solutions is constrained by the taboos on the political and public agenda. By avoiding group-​based policies for immigrants and applying indirect or generic policies instead, policy makers anticipate the public and political approval in the pre-​decision stage of policy solution definition. Like the policy stage of problem definition, the construction of policy solutions is also marked by conflict, criticisms, and opposition. The chapter illustrates how policy makers cope with the conflictual nature of solution definition through different discursive strategies and taboos used for targeting. These interchanging strategies aid policy makers to navigate contestation and policy taboos, both within the administration and in the broader public and political debate. Policy makers anticipate the public approval of their policy solutions in the selection of target groups and policy instruments. Although policy formulation to a large extent takes place in the ‘hidden’, pre-​decision phase, the ‘public’ is still in ways present in this stage of policy solution formulation. Based on an analysis of different targeting strategies in Dutch immigrant integration policies between 2010 and 2018 and interviews with policy makers, the chapter contributes to the first dimension of the political constructivist approach to public policy, ‘meaning in action’, by illustrating how policy taboos influence the process of binding policy problems and solutions. Chapter 8, by Magdalena Martinez, examines the role of discourse coalitions on policy solutions through a higher education governance case study in the state of Nevada in the US. Specifically, through the observation of actors’ discursive practices (via interviews, legislative testimonies, and media accounts), Martinez focuses on how coalition actors create meaning for their proposals through policy statements and how they employ discursive actions to bind coalition identities around problems and solutions. Key to their strategies are the ability to create political coalitions and bind specific policy statements and

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THE POLITICAL FORMULATION OF POLICY SOLUTIONS

proposals to these coalitions. In doing so, they create ownership for their respective proposals. However, unequal political power promotes some coalitions over others, and thus enduring political conflict. Coalition conflict and power are disputed in multiple spaces to determine who joins which coalition, and what policy statements and proposals are championed in public legislative spaces. Opening these spaces can help us understand the hidden side of the politics of coalitions and their policy statements and proposals. Chapter 9, by Charlotte Halpern, analyses the emergence, construction, and trajectory of road-​space re-​allocation as a policy solution to urban mobility challenges in different political contexts. Focusing on the notion of policy solution ownership (Gusfield 1981) and drawing on extensive empirical work on sustainable urban mobility transitions in European cities, the chapter contributes to the book’s main argument in three ways. First it examines how and by whom policy solution ownership is built and how it contributes to redefining the boundaries of a given problem in a highly competitive policy environment. Second, and following the work by Callon (1986) on problematization and interessement to account for improbable alliances in a highly fragmented policy context, it contributes to the understanding of how policy solution ownership opens new opportunities for urban elites to challenge existing urban governance arrangements and promote their own political agenda. Third, it discusses the role of framing in shaping the subsequent trajectory of this policy solution (Rochefort and Cobb 1994) across different urban governance contexts. It argues that policy solution ownership was established through the continued efforts made by a coalition of policy entrepreneurs to transform a policy solution fitted for all seasons into an easily transferable set of standardized tools and techniques, while at the same time shifting the attention away from car-​use reduction towards ensuring fair and equal access to the urban road network. As we have already indicated, policy formulation has long been the least developed of the stages of the policy process. But that has begun to change, and we seek to contribute to this new research. Much of what has appeared, however, still leans toward a technocratic perspective. To this end, in this book we seek to bring out the basic political dimensions inherent in this critical phase of the policy process. The chapters that follow clearly illustrate the need to stress the political nature of the process. We offer these chapters as a contribution to building a research programme that furthers a political understanding of policy formulation. Such a programme would, in particular, seek to develop more qualitative and indeterminate theories and approaches in order

16

INTRODUCTION

to better grasp the uncertainty of the trajectories of policy proposals, the capacity of policy makers to prevent or facilitate the emergence of new policy, and the role of multiple arenas, structured by power concerns, where technical arguments intermingle with political ones. Notes 1

2

3

Dror 1968; Lindblom 1968; Ranney 1968; Mitchell 1969; Richardson 1969; Jones 1970; Sharkansky 1972; Anderson 1975. ‘The concept of ownership is derived from the recognition that in the arena of public opinion and debate, all groups do not have equal power, influence and authority to define the reality of the problem’ (Gusfield 1981, p 15). ‘To “own” a problem (Gusfield 1981) is to be obligated to claim recognition of a problem and to have information and ideas about it given a high degree of attention and credibility, to the exclusion of others. To “own” a social problem is to possess the authority to name that condition a “problem” and to suggest what might be done about it. It is the power to influence the marshalling of public facilities –​laws, enforcement abilities, opinion, goods and services –​to help resolve the problem’ (Gusfield 2003, p 7).

References Allison, G. (2006) ‘Emergence of schools of public policy: reflections by a founding dean’, in M. Moran, M. Rein and R. Goodin (eds) The Oxford handbook of public policy, New York: Oxford University Press. Allison, G.T. and Zelikow P. (1999) Essence of decision: Explaining the Cuban missile crisis, London: Longman. Anderson, J.E. (1975) Public policy-​making, New York: Praeger. Bachrach, P. and Baratz, M.S. (1970) Power and poverty: Theory and practice, New York: Oxford University Press. Baumgartner, F.R. and Jones B.D. (1993) Agendas and instability in American politics, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Bell, D. (1972) The coming of post-​industrial society, New York: Basic Books. Boltanski, L. and Thévenot L. (1991) De la justification: Les économies de la grandeur, Paris: Gallimard. Bourdieu, P. (1982) Ce que parler veut dire l’économie des échanges linguistiques, Paris: Fayard. Bourdieu, P. (2014) Langage et pouvoir symbolique, Paris: Éditions Fayard. Callon, M. (1986) ‘Éléments pour une sociologie de la traduction: la domestication des coquilles Saint-​Jacques et des marins-​pêcheurs dans la baie de Saint-​Brieuc’, L’année Sociologique, 3, 169–​208. Cefaï, D. (2016) ‘Publics, problèmes publics, arènes publiques’, Questions de Communication, 2: 25–​64. Chateauraynaud, F. (2011) Argumenter dans un champ de forces: Essai de balistique sociologique, Paris: Editions Pétra.

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Cobb, R.W. and Elder, C.D. (1971) ‘The politics of agenda-​building: an alternative perspective for modern democratic theory’, The Journal of Politics, 33(4): 892–​915. Cochran, C.L. and Malone, E.F. (2014) Public policy: Perspectives and choices, Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers. Cohen, M.D., March, J.G. and Olsen, J.P. (1972) ‘A garbage can model of organizational choice’, Administrative Science Quarterly, 17(1): 1–25. Dahl, R.A. and Lindblom C.E. (1963) Politics, economics, and welfare: Planning and politico-​economic systems resolved into basic social process, New York: Harper & Row. Dror, Y. (1968) Public policymaking reexamined, San Francisco: Chandler. Elder, C.D. and Cobb, R.W. (1984) ‘Agenda-​building and the politics of aging’, Policy Studies Journal, 13(1): 115. Fischer, F. (1990) Technocracy and the politics of expertise, Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Fischer, F. (2003) Reframing public policy: Discursive politics and deliberative practices, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Fischer, F. (2009) Democracy and expertise: Reorienting policy inquiry, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Fischer, F. and Gottweis, H. (2012) The argumentative turn revisited: Public policy as communicative practice, Durham: Duke University Press. Foucault, M. (1971) L’ordre du discours, Paris: Gallimard. Freund, J. (1990) Qu’est-​ce que la politique?, Paris: Seuil. Galbraith, J.K. (1967) The new industrial state, Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Gusfield, J.R. (1981) The culture of public problems: Drinking-​driving and the symbolic order, Chicago: Etats-​Unis d’Amérique, Royaume-​Uni de Grande-​Bretagne et d’Irlande du Nord. Gusfield, J.R. (1989) ‘Constructing the ownership of social problems: fun and profit in the welfare state’, Social Problems, 36(5): 431–​41. Gusfield, J.R. (2003) ‘Constructing the ownership of social problems: fun and profit in the welfare state’, in J.D. Orcutt and D.R. Rudy (eds) Drugs, alcohol, and social problems, Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield. Hajer, M.A. and Wagenaar, H. (2003) Deliberative policy analysis: Understanding governance in the network society, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hall, P.A. (1993) ‘Policy paradigms, social learning, and the state: the case of economic policymaking in Britain’, Comparative Politics, 25(3): 275–96. Heclo, H. (1978) ‘Issue networks and the executive establishment’, Public Administration: Concepts and Cases, 413: 46–​57.

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INTRODUCTION

Heclo, H. and Wildavsky, A. (1974) The private government of public money: Community and policy inside British politics, Berkeley: University of California Press. Howlett, M. and Mukherjee, I. (2017) Handbook of policy formulation, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing. Howlett, M., Ramesh, M. and Perl, A. (2009) Studying public policy: Policy cycles and policy subsystems, 3rd edition, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. Jones, C.O. (1970) An introduction to the study of public policy, Belmont: Wadsworth. Jordan, A.J. and Turnpenny, J.R. (2015) The tools of policy formulation: Actors, capacities, venues and effects, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing. Jorgensen, P. (2017) ‘The politics of policy formulation: overcoming subsystem dynamics’, in M. Howlett and I. Mukherjee (eds) Handbook of policy formulation, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing. Kingdon, J.W. (1984) Agendas, alternatives, and public policies, New York: HarperCollins. Lasswell, H.D. (1936) Politics: Who gets what, when and how, New York: McGraw Hill. Lasswell, H.D. (1943) ‘Memorandum: personal policy objectives’, On the Policy Sciences In 1943: 71–​98. Lasswell, H.D. (1951) The policy sciences: Recent developments in scope and method, Stanford: Stanford University Press. Lasswell, H.D. (1956) The decision process: Seven categories of functional analysis, College Park: Bureau of Governmental Research, College of Business and Public Administration, University of Maryland. Lasswell, H.D. (1971) A pre-​v iew of policy sciences, New York: American Elsevier. Lindblom, C.E. (1965) The intelligence of democracy: Decision making through mutual adjustment, New York: Free Press. Lindblom, C.E. (1968) The policy-​m aking process, Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-​Hall. Lindblom, C.E. (1979) ‘Still muddling, not yet through’, Public Administration Review, 39(6): 517–​26. Majone, G. (1992) Evidence, argument and persuasion in the policy process, Yale: Yale University Press. Mitchell, J.M. (1969) Political analysis & public policy: An introduction to political science, Chicago: Rand McNally. Mouffe, C. (2013) Agonistics: Thinking the world politically, London: Verso. Parsons, W. (1996) Public policy: An introduction to the theory and practice of policy analysis, 1st edition, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.

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Ranney, A. (1968) Political science and public policy, Chicago: Markham. Richardson, J.J. (1969) The policy-​m aking process, London and New York: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Richardson, J.J. and Jordan, A.G. (1979) Governing under pressure: The policy process in a post-​parliamentary democracy, Oxford: Robertson. Rochefort, D.A. and Cobb. R.W. (1994) The politics of problem definition: Shaping the policy agenda, Lawrence: University Press of Kansas. Sabatier, P.A. and Weible, C.M. (2007) ‘The Advocacy Coalition Framework’, in P.A. Sabatier (ed) Theories of the policy process, 2nd edition, Boulder: Westview Press, pp 189–​220. Schattschneider, E.E. (1960) The semisovereign people: A realist’s view of democracy in America, New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Schneider, A.L. and Ingram, H.M. (eds) (2005) Deserving and entitled: Social construction and public policy, Albany: State University of New York Press. Sharkansky, I. (1972) Public administration: Policy-​making in government agencies, Chicago: Markham. Simon, H.A. (1983) Reason in human affairs, Stanford: Stanford University Press. Touraine, A. (1971) The post-​industrial society, New York: Random House. Weible, C.M. and Jenkins-​Smith, H.C. (2016) ‘The Advocacy Coalition Framework: an approach for the comparative analysis of contentious policy issues’, in B. Guy Peters and P. Zittoun (eds) Contemporary approaches to public policy, New York: Springer, pp 15–​34. Wildavsky, A.B. (1989) Speaking truth to power, Piscataway: Transaction Publishers. Wilder, M. (2017) ‘Policy paradigm and the formulation process’, in M. Howlett and I. Mukherjee (eds) Handbook of policy formulation, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing. Zittoun, P. (2013) La fabrique politique des politiques publiques: Une approche pragmatique de l’action publique, Paris: Les Presses de Sciences Po. Zittoun, P. (2014) The political process of policymaking: A pragmatic approach to public policy, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Zittoun, P. (2016) ‘The domestication of a “wild” problem: taming policy agenda setting’, in N. Zahariadis (ed) Handbook of public policy agenda setting, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, pp 254–​73.

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2

Upcycling a Trashed Policy Solution? Argumentative Couplings for Solution Definition and Deconstruction in German Pension Policy Sonja Blum

It is obvious that old age does not everywhere start at age 65; it did not always start there where it does today; and most likely it will not start there in the future. (Gál and Monostori 2017, p 77)

Introduction In public policy studies, today the view prevails that there are neither objective problem situations, nor can there be direct and unambiguous links from defined problems to the ‘solutions’ they require. As in Gál’s and Monostori’s (2017) argument cited above, the political definition of ‘problems’ (such as being old-aged) changes, and so does the definition of related solutions (such as the start of retirement age). This view is most pronounced from a ‘garbage-​can perspective’ (Cohen et al, 1972), which highlights not only how problems and solutions are developed largely independently, but also how the classical ‘problem-​solving logic’ may be reversed when there are solutions in search of (fitting) problems (Kingdon 1995; Zahariadis 2003). Yet while both problems and solutions do not just

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‘exist’ but undergo processes of definition and construction, there is one decisive difference between the two: namely, while problems may be defined without connecting them to solutions, this is not the case vice versa. Policies, measures, and proposals are developed all the time, but they indispensably require a connection to a problem (or several ones) to become ‘solutions’. While such problem–​policy connections are crucial within the Multiple Streams Framework (MSF) whereby the policy process is conceptualized as three streams –​problem, policy, and politics –​ the ‘coupling’ process itself has remained largely overlooked in the literature (Zahariadis 2003; Zittoun 2013). As is the case for other central elements of the MSF, it is often mentioned, but rarely elaborated on or systematically applied (Jones et al 2016). An essential element in the achievement of coupling is rhetoric (Dolan 2019) –​ in the achievement of ‘binding’ in particular, that is, the linking of problem and solution concepts, which precedes the linking of streams (see Chapter 1). Against this backdrop, this chapter seeks to contribute to a better understanding of (the preparation of) such ‘binding activities’ by policy actors, and the argumentative processes through which ‘measures’ or ‘instruments’ are defined into ‘policy solutions’. It therefore enlightens the first of the three epistemological dimensions distinguished in Chapter 1. Specifically, this chapter focuses on the kind of arguments through which policy solutions are defined. Building on my previous work, which integrated the MSF with knowledge utilization concepts, it further specifies ‘argumentative coupling’ (Blum 2018), that is, the linking of problem, policy, and politics through arguments. Through stressing the argumentative processes that precede final couplings, ‘argumentative coupling’ corresponds to what is labelled ‘binding’ (as separate from streams coupling) in this book (see Chapter 1). Already Kingdon (1995, p 22) highlighted that prior to the ‘final couplings’ of streams at times of open policy windows, there are also various linkages between problems, policy, and politics at times when the streams flow normally (he called this ‘attempted couplings’). In particular, Kingdon (1995, p 227) highlighted how the problem and policy streams are connected if people try to ‘solve problems’. Such linkages may lead to the softening-​up of an issue, while they let other ideas descend into the depths of the streams. Linkages are established by drawing on (scientific) knowledge claims, among others (Blum and Brans 2017), and also allow a deeper look into how arguments about feasibility and affordability (Kingdon 1995) are used for solution definition. Argumentative coupling can thus

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illuminate how solutions are defined, and the ground for final couplings is prepared. Empirically, the chapter draws on the case of German pension policy, which is revelatory with regard to solution definition. It has been well researched how the German pay-​as-​you-​go pension system came under pressure with demographic change and population ageing, and how those problems were linked to the retrenching of the public pillar and the promotion of private provision as ‘solutions’. The analysis shows how a coherent ‘binding’ can be utilized by a reform coalition, in that case to conduct the far-​reaching pension reforms of the early 2000s. However, with a zero interest rate policy, low returns, and increasing poverty among older people as a result of a lean public pension scheme, this ‘argumentative coupling’ itself came under pressure. We may say that it was, at least partly, argumentatively decoupled again –​decoupling being an idea that has recently been introduced in the MSF literature (Zahariadis and Exadaktylos 2016) and which underlines that policy making is not a linear way forward (see also Chapter 1). In terms of policy change, a partial reversal of German pension policy reforms was diagnosed (Natali 2018). By focusing on the argumentative couplings, the chapter studies how the pension solution was defined during the early 2000s and later deconstructed. The chapter also sheds light on further ‘argumentative recoupling’ attempts: namely, proposals to ‘upcycle’ the ‘old solution’ of public pension provision through a minimum pension scheme, and proposals meant to ‘rescue’ the solution of private pension provision. Thereby, the chapter contributes knowledge on the importance of definitional struggles and ‘binding processes’ for understanding the definition –​and, notably, also the deconstruction –​of policy solutions. The empirical case study builds on qualitative content analysis of expert interviews, policy documents, and newspaper coverage of the policy process (see Blum 2019 for details on the methodology). Eleven expert interviews were conducted in 2015 with German policy makers, mainly from within the ministerial bureaucracy, and pension policy experts (scientific experts and interest group representatives). The next section looks at how problem definition and solution definition have been discussed in the (MSF) literature and presents the concept of ‘argumentative coupling’. It also further conceptualizes how to understand the deconstruction of a solution in terms of argumentative coupling and decoupling. In the following two sections, this perspective is used to study the definition of the German pension policy solution around the year 2000, and its later

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deconstruction. The final section closes the chapter with a brief, more general conclusion.

The definition and deconstruction of solutions The softening-​up of proposals The term ‘problem definition’ alludes to the social construction of reality (Rochefort and Cobb 1994), while ‘policy formulation’ as a term carries a more technical notion, focused on adequate tools or policy design (see also Chapter 1). However, also, solutions are not just developed as technical devices, but rather undergo processes of definition and construction, as do policy problems (Zittoun 2014, p 42). And yet, there is a substantial difference between defining problems and defining solutions. First, as Zahariadis (2003, p 73) points out, ‘adopting policies is far more important and politically beneficial than actually solving any problems’. Second, although Wildavsky (1979, p 42) states that ‘a problem is a problem only if something can be done about it’, this is true only in so far as public officials will not be likely to talk about a ‘problem’ without having at least an idea for a solution at hand. Generally, it is perfectly possible to define ‘problems’ without making connections to policy solutions. Vice versa, this is not the case: policies, measures, and proposals are developed all the time, but they indispensably require the connection to a problem (or several ones) to become ‘solutions’. Furthermore, Rochefort and Cobb (1994, p 6) regard the ‘connection between the socially dominant understanding of a problem and the sorts of programmatic interventions deemed to be appropriate and reasonable’ as decisive. While they highlight the importance of this nexus, though, their vantage point of problem definition seems, to some extent, to result in a problem-​solving understanding. For instance, Rochefort and Cobb (1994, p 3, emphasis added) write: ‘At the nexus of politics and policy development lies persistent conflict over where problems come from and, based on the answer to this question, what kinds of solutions should be attempted.’ Yet there is also an alternative, ‘garbage-​can perspective’ (see Cohen et al 1972) on the making of connections between problems and solutions. From this perspective, there is no clear solution that would rationally derive from a certain problem definition, rather there is a ‘soup of solutions’ that could possibly be connected; regularly, it is even the policy that is in search of a fitting problem, rather than the other way round (Kingdon 1995; Zahariadis 2003). The process of

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a policy being turned into a ‘solution’ is then ultimately a process of establishing connections between the problem and policy. Complex argumentative strategies are needed to make this binding possible, feasible, and meaningful (see Chapter 1), but the issue has not gained corresponding attention in policy research. The MSF’s main assumption is that there are three streams, which flow largely independently from each other: the problem, policy, and politics streams. Only if there is a window of opportunity –​either in the problem stream (for example, through a focusing event) or in the politics stream (for example, through government turnover) –​can those streams be coupled (Kingdon 1995; Zahariadis 2003). Coupling involves the skilful action of policy entrepreneurs, and strategies such as framing, ‘salami tactics’, or the use of symbols (Zahariadis 2014). It enables agenda setting or, ultimately, policy change (Herweg et al 2015). While the MSF has arguably contributed more to our understanding of coupling than any other theoretical approach, the corresponding literature has tended to overlook the phenomenon and not respond to its crucial status within the framework (Zahariadis 2003; Zittoun 2013; Jones et al 2016). As Dolan (2019, p 6) puts it, typically ‘researchers gloss over the coupling process by repeating Kingdon’s metaphorical language’. Zahariadis (2003, p 85) has paid particular attention to coupling and has distinguished two possible ‘searches for a rationale’ as coupling logics. These are more or less likely depending on whether a window opens in the problem stream or in the politics stream. If, for instance, a focusing event opens a ‘problem window’, this encourages consequential coupling, where a solution is searched for the problem. If the window opens in the politics stream, however, for instance after an election, this encourages doctrinal coupling, where what matters most is adopting a solution (Zahariadis 2003, p 139). The MSF’s notion of stream independence should not be misinterpreted to assume that connections between (elements of) the streams only occur at times of opened windows. As Kingdon (1995, p 229) points out: ‘Policy entrepreneurs anticipate political constraints as they develop proposals, for instance, or politicians seek the counsel of policy specialists as they work up campaign themes. Couplings are attempted often, and not just close to the time of final enactment.’ In other words, there is constant linkage between the streams and the making of connection-​making. These linkages are different from the ‘final couplings’ that Kingdon (1995) describes for the case of opened policy windows; they can rather be conceived of as a kind of ‘pre-​coupling’ of ideas, happening inside the policy community (Blum 2018). We can assume that through these, the final couplings,

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their trajectories, and ultimately their success or failure can be much better understood. They enable a fresh perspective on the ‘softening-​ up’ (Kingdon 1995, p 127) processes needed to build acceptance for proposals in the policy community. From this perspective, multiple (discursive) problem–​policy bindings are used to test persuasion strategies or to convince undecided actors and establish the ownership coalition of a policy solution (see Chapter 1). In short, the linkages are used in the ‘struggle to get one or another meaning established as the accepted one’ (Fischer 2003, p 65). To probe deeper into how and which bindings between streams are established, the concept of ‘argumentative coupling’ is presented in the next subsection.

Solution definition through argumentative coupling As coupling processes are complex and many outcomes are possible, it becomes even more relevant to ask how the binding or ‘hooking on’ of a certain proposal as a solution to a problem and the political momentum into ‘a single package’ (Zahariadis 2014, p 26) is actually done. At the core of this, Zahariadis (2014, p 29) highlights, stands information, which is then ‘strategically manipulated’ in an attempt to ‘clarify or create meaning’ for policy makers. Drawing on this idea –​ that information use is crucial to understanding coupling processes –​ my previous work (Blum 2018) connected two literatures, which had remained surprisingly separate up until that point, namely the ones on the MSF and on knowledge utilization. Through this cross-​ fertilization, the concept of ‘argumentative coupling’ was developed. Argumentative coupling focuses on how linkages between problem, policy, and politics issues are made through arguments. This concerns the ‘pre-​coupling’ addressed in the previous subsection: through argumentative coupling, solutions are argumentatively prepared, whereby ‘small canals are constructed between the streams, which entrepreneurs may sail when the wind of a “window of opportunity” is blowing’ (Blum 2018, p 9). While the final coupling in MSF terms is done through policy entrepreneurs, the argumentative couplings of the softening-​up process involve a broad range of actors, potentially all actors of a certain policy subsystem. Policy arguments may contain several elements; most importantly, they make a certain policy claim, for example by drawing on policy-​relevant information (Fischer 2003, p 192). Drawing on the knowledge-​utilization literature to better understand information use, we can distinguish between three different types of expertise: problem, policy, and politics expertise (Peters and Barker 1993; Weingart and Lentsch 2008). We can further distinguish

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Table 1: Types of coupling and non-​coupling arguments Problem knowledge

Policy knowledge

Politics knowledge

Problem stream (informational)

Enlightenment logic (such as problem analysis)

Garbage-​can or lawmaker logic

Political-​ informational logic

Policy stream (operational)

Problem-​solving logic

Policy-​making logic (such as technical feasibility)

Political-​ operational logic

Problem-​solving arguments Politics stream (political-​strategic)

Strategic-​ consequential logic

Strategic-​ doctrinal logic

Politics logic (such as election analysis)

Political and strategic arguments Coupling logic

→ consequential

→ doctrinal

→ political

Note: Grey boxes indicate non-​coupling arguments and white boxes indicate coupling arguments. Source: Blum 2018

between three different ways in which this knowledge may be used for policy making, namely its informational, operational, or political-​ strategic1 uses (Knorr 1977; Amara et al 2004). Against this backdrop, six types of coupling (and three types of non-​coupling2) arguments were identified (see Table 1). Coupling arguments (in contrast to non-​coupling arguments) involve a linkage with another issue type, for example, inferring from knowledge about a certain problem (such as demographic change) about operational use (for example, how to design a certain pension policy reform) or political-​strategic use (such as the consequences for the composition of voter groups). Through this, ‘causal links’ (Zahariadis and Exadaktylos 2016, p 62) are established. Connecting with the idea of ‘coupling logics’ (Zahariadis 2003), we may further distinguish three different argumentative coupling logics, depending on whether problem, policy, or politics knowledge forms the starting point of an argument. The corresponding logics of the linking operation can be either consequential (problem-​based), doctrinal (policy-​based), or political (politics-​based). One group of arguments are problem-​solving statements as described by Hassenteufel and Zittoun (2017, p 59), which ‘associate the definition of a problem with the policy instruments aimed at solving it’. Such problem-​solving statements (see the inner quadrant

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of Table 1 –​enlightenment logic, garbage-​can or lawmaker logic, problem-​solving logic, and policy-​making logic), and their linkages remain focused on ‘problem’ and ‘policy’ issues. In the outer fields (political-​informational logic, political-​operational logic, strategic-​ consequential logic, strategic-​doctrinal logic, and politics logic), we find arguments that either link with political-​strategic aspects (starting from problem or policy knowledge), or link from politics knowledge towards informational or operational use (see Blum 2018 for a more detailed description). Zahariadis and Exadaktylos (2016, p 62) describe framing as a ‘coupling strategy that joins together problems, solutions and politics to build narratives among coalition members’, and thereby also affects this book’s second dimension of solution ownership. However, the ‘politics’ element is often missing when coupling is investigated; the primary focus clearly is on problem-​ policy connections. Contrariwise, argumentative coupling allows for a systematic investigation of linkages between all streams, including the politics one, and also the idea that the whole reasoning of a linking operation may be politics-​based.

Solution deconstruction through argumentative (de)couplings The policy process does not stop after solution definition. Policies are not introduced once and for all; they are only ‘solving the problem’ for a certain period of time, before being reformulated, or abolished again, and possibly replaced by something else. MSF applications often stop after the agenda setting or adoption of a policy, although with Kingdon (1995) the question can be raised as to which ideas and also which reforms are likely to survive over time. Important in this regard are studies that have extended the MSF to investigate policy implementation, or reformulation. It is in this context that ‘decoupling’ has been described as a phenomenon, although the concept seems to be in its infancy. As Zahariadis and Exadaktylos (2016, p 77) write, problems and solutions may over time be decoupled again: ‘Whereas MSA [Multiple Streams Approach] conceptualizes the main task of coupling as the joining of three streams, we amend the argument to stress the aim is to prevent decoupling in implementation.’ In a case study, they find that implementation involved ‘strategies to actively decouple the problem from the policy streams’ (Zahariadis and Exadaktylos 2016, p 77). Decoupling captures the notion that what has been linked together can also be disentangled again. For instance, there can be cases where the problem and policy streams are decoupled (for example, supported

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by evaluations), and a measure is no longer believed to be a ‘solution’ for a certain problem, or a problem is redefined to have changed its nature in a way that the respective measure no longer fits. Moreover, the politics and policy streams may be decoupled if, for instance, a policy is no longer in line with dominant values. Solution deconstruction can be associated with different types of policy change. Usually, policy change is investigated on the change-​ versus-​continuity continuum, but there is also (quite invisible on that continuum) a distinct type of policy reversal (Blum and Kuhlmann 2020).3 The phenomenon has received somewhat more attention recently, as especially regarding pensions, ‘policy reversal’ has become too eye-​catching to be overlooked (see Sokhey 2017; Natali 2018; Bridgen 2019). Reversals –​that is, taking back elements of previous reforms (and possibly reintroducing elements of ‘old’ policies) –​may be complete or partial, as well as permanent or temporary by nature (Sokhey 2017 p 6). Natali (2018, p 53) argues that risks of policy reversal are particularly pronounced in pension policy, where even ‘when reforms pass, their implementation is uncertain’. Bridgen (2019) finds an ‘unexpected revision’ of the public pension retrenchment conducted in liberal welfare systems since the mid-​1990s; but reversals of public pension retrenchment have been found in other welfare states, too, such as in a number of Central and Eastern European countries (Sokhey 2017), and also in Germany (Natali 2018), a case that is investigated in this chapter. Looking thus at the three ideal types of policy continuity, change, or reversal, we can assume that solution deconstruction is less relevant for continuity. Also for small adaptions of a policy, we should assume that those do not involve its deconstruction as a solution, rather to the contrary.4 In contrast, solution deconstruction seems highly relevant for cases of transformative change and reversal. Policy makers ‘are inheritors before they are choosers’ and new programmes ‘cannot be constructed on green field sites’ (Rose 1993, p 78), and so before a policy can be abolished, elements of an old policy can be reinstalled (reversal), or a policy can be significantly overhauled or replaced (change), the previous solution needs to be –​at least partially –​deconstructed (see Hay 2001; Blyth 2002; Stiller 2010). As Hall (1993, p 277) states, policy ‘responds less directly to social and economic conditions than it does to the consequences of past policy’. We can assume that different processes of change have their specific argumentative challenges and go along with certain activities in terms of argumentative coupling and decoupling. The argumentative challenges will be particularly pronounced if the deconstruction follows hard on the original definition of a solution, and particularly if the same political actors are involved, that is, they

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have changed their policy preferences or even core values (compare Blyth 20025; Roberge 2009, p 267). First, the solution deconstruction may be limited to (proposing) the abolishment of a policy or certain of its elements. In this case, the policy development is not a linear way forward, but a (partial) return to the status quo ante. If the proposal is only to abolish a policy again, we can expect argumentative decoupling, that is, arguments that disentangle ‘old’ argumentative couplings. This goes along with problem and/​ or policy redefinition and new information, for example referring to evaluation results to argue that a policy affects a certain problem quite differently than it was believed to, in other words that it is not effective, or even detrimental. Blyth (2002, p 39) describes how, in ‘order to replace them, agents must de-​legitimate such institutions by contesting the ideas that underlie them’. Stiller (2010, p 34) describes this as a process of de-​legitimization, exposing ‘drawbacks of old policy principles and policies built on them’ (for example by linking them to failure, inefficiency, or welfare loss), which she also sees as a (necessary) first step in the preparation of a new policy. Second, more frequently, solution deconstruction may not be limited to the (proposed) abolishment, but also involve significant solution redefinition or the replacement of existing policy (elements). In those cases, we should argumentatively not only find decoupling, but also new argumentative couplings, often involving a recoupling of elements from the streams. As Winkel and Leipold (2016, p 16) put it from a discursive reading of the MSF: ‘The ideas that bubble in the “policy primeval soup” change predominantly not through mutations, but through recombinations’ (see also Kingdon 1995, p 124).6 Connecting this idea with (partial) policy reversal (Sokhey 2017) leads to the distinction that there are not only (proposed) introductions of new and innovative policy (elements), but also (proposed) reintroductions of ‘old’ policy (elements). In both cases, we should find new argumentative couplings towards the new solution. Yet if it involves a ‘recycling’ (Zittoun 2013) of old policy elements, specific argumentative strategies may be needed. Namely, it may require ‘upcycling’, so that the old solution is combined with and thereby turned into something new, which legitimizes why it is taken out of the waste bin, and gives it new value. Furthermore, especially if the solution deconstruction affects the core of a policy paradigm, we can follow Hall (1993, p 280) in assuming that ‘instances of policy experimentation and policy failure are likely to play’ a role and that ‘ad hoc attempts are generally made to stretch the terms of the paradigm to cover them’, adjusting ‘existing lines of policy’.

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The ‘multi-​pillar paradigm’: definition of a new solution in German pension policy Traditionally, the German pension system mainly rested on the first, public pension pillar, which is based on social insurance contributions and paid according to the ‘equivalence principle’ through employee and employer contributions. It used to guarantee pensions that maintained the standard of living of those (traditionally male) employees who worked full-​time and continuously over a period of 45 years. The pension system kept these main features until the new millennium (Bridgen and Meyer 2014), notwithstanding some smaller retrenchment and an integration of new benefits (for example childrearing credits). As a pay-​as-​you-​go system, German pension insurance is particularly affected by demographic changes. In the course of the 1990s, Germany’s welfare system (especially pension and labour market policies) came increasingly under pressure and was labelled the ‘sick man of Europe’ (The Economist, 1999), associated with a lack of structural reforms. While Germany was long described as incapable of significant reform, this changed after Germany’s first government coalition of Social Democrats (SPD) and Greens took office in 1998 and initiated significant welfare state transformation. Their pension reforms in particular attracted attention and were considered to be paradigmatic (Hinrichs and Kangas 2003; Lamping and Rüb 2004). Those reforms were, in particular, the Altersvermögensgesetz (old-​age provision law) and the Altersvermögensergänzungsgesetz (Old-​Age Provision Extension Act), which was passed in 2001. The change was characterized by a public–​private shift, retrenching the first pillar of the pension system and stipulating occupational pensions, and, in particular, private provision with the so-​called Riester pension7 (Lamping and Rüb 2004). Riester is a voluntary private, fully funded pension savings scheme, operated by insurance companies and banks, but with public subsidies. The move was towards a ‘multi-​pillar paradigm’ (Bönker 2005). For Schmähl (2011), the main feature of the shift was taking the height of the contribution rate as the new orientation point, thereby giving up the former orientation point of pension levels. In effect, Germany’s public pension scheme today provides low replacement rates in international comparison (Bridgen and Meyer 2014). There was significant resistance to these paradigmatic pension reforms (Stiller 2010), but for several years their ground was prepared by some prominent policy entrepreneurs (Bönker 2005), such as economists as policy advisers. Also, they were supported by and profited from the ‘solution ownership’ of employer organizations and, not least, by the

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financial sector with its vested interest in expanding private provision (Wehlau 2009). Meanwhile, traditionally important social policy makers and experts (Bönker 2005) as well as the social partners (Nullmeier 2015) were sidelined. The reforms were thus implemented by a powerful ownership coalition, which points to the argument made in Chapter 1, namely that the definition of a ‘solution’ and the binding process also involve ownership through a coalition of policy actors. The policy process was intensive for nearly two years, and during that time the ‘provisions contained in the reform proposal frequently changed’ (Stiller 2010, p 112). Against that backdrop, it is interesting to look in more detail at how the solution of a ‘multi-​pillar paradigm’ was linked to the defined problem, and involved political reasoning to overcome the resistance to the reforms. There were two main parts to the defined problem. The first was the competitiveness of the German economy and the associated lack of structural reforms. As already formulated in the draft law for the preceding 1999 pension reform conducted by the governing coalition of the conservative Christian Democratic Union/​Christian Social Union (CDU/​CSU) and the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) (1994–​98), the underlying problem was ‘preserving the competitiveness of Germany as a location of business’. Linking this to the policy solution, the draft law describes it as ‘without alternative’ to relieve the ‘factor labour’, through ‘decreasing the contribution rate for the pension insurance and, in the long-​run, through significantly decreasing the rise of the contribution rate’ (German Bundestag 1997). As Riester (2004, p 135) argued, the ‘problems of old-​age pension provision had been deferred for a long time and the whole social fabric was on the verge of collapsing’. The second part of the defined problem, quite specific for pension policy, was demographic change and population ageing. Hegelich et al (2011, p 68) identify that demographic change was used as the primary argument for cutting public pensions back and strengthening private arrangements. Similarly, Stiller (2010, p 124), in her study of ideational leadership in the German welfare system reforms of that time, shows how minister Riester reiterated the fundamental demographic challenge to the statutory pension system, sometimes nuancing it by referring also to previous policy makers’ procrastination and lack of action to tackle the mounting problems. Riester coupled this ‘demographic time bomb’ argument to cutting back statutory pensions as one part of the solution:

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If the younger generation has to spend more money from now on to secure a comfortable life for when they will retire, then it is legitimate to ask an extra contribution of those who are now receiving their pensions. It is not possible to have everyone benefit. The same is true for the new adjustment factor. It is introduced to realize a slight decrease in pension claims for those who will retire in the future (starting with 0.3 per cent in 2011 rising up to 6 per cent in 2030). Without this decrease, contribution rates and demographic developments would be no longer manageable. (Riester, as quoted by Stiller 2010, p 126) Alongside decreasing public pensions, stipulating private provision (and, partly, also stipulating occupational pension schemes) were the other elements of the ‘multi-​pillar paradigm’ solution. The idea of a funded, second pillar was argumentatively not only connected to the defined problems (economic competitiveness and demographic change) but also to a strengthening of the German capital market, as the following quotation from a paper from within the CDU/​CSU exemplifies: To secure the whole system of old-​age security, a significant and fast expansion of funded old-​age provision in the existing systems of the second and third pension pillars should be strived for. Through expanding partly-​funded schemes of old-​a ge provision, the statutory pension insurance would be relieved, and Germany as a location for business and a financial centre would be strengthened.8 (Schnieber-​Jastram et al 2000, p 22) After the end of the red–​g reen government coalition, its reform path was at first continued by the subsequent grand coalition of the CDU, the CSU and Social Democratic Party (SPD) (2005–​09) by agreeing, in spring 2007, to gradually increase the legal retirement age from 65 to 67.

‘Riester has failed’: solution deconstruction and redefinition struggles After 2007, the fiscal and economic crisis set in. Cushioning measures taken by the grand coalition contained smaller ‘corrections’ (Blum and Kuhlmann 2016) of the pension reform pathway. First, these included a suspension of the so-​called Riester steps for years 2008 and 2009,9 which

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was arguably linked to the economic crisis, but also to the beginning of a debate on poverty among older people (Hegelich et al 2011, p 162). Second, a Schutzklausel (hedge clause) was introduced in 2009, which guarantees pension stability even in the case of shrinking wages (before, nominal pension cuts would have been possible in the case of negative wage development) (Schmidt 2014). German pension policy in the following years –​ first under a conservative–​liberal government (2009–​13) and then again under a grand coalition (2013–​17) –​can be placed in a highly ambivalent context. First, the types of reforms now implemented in other countries (for example, prolonging working life) had already been introduced in Germany before the crisis. Moreover, there was no continued crisis that would have led to austerity measures in pension policy as in other European countries (Natali 2018). Rather, the pension system benefited from ‘unexpected prosperity’ (Blum and Kuhlmann 2016): positive developments in the German economy and surplus funds from social insurance.10 This unexpected prosperity was increasingly attributed to the paradigmatic reforms of the German welfare state themselves (particularly reforms of the labour market, but also pension policy). Notwithstanding, these reforms were still unpopular and turned out disastrous for the SPD at the ballot boxes, which encouraged the party to think about corrections and possibly win back voters. As already described, the pension reforms had partly replaced the public pay-​as-​you-​go system through private saving schemes. With those private schemes being dependent on capital market developments, the defined solution came under pressure over the years of zero rate interest policy and low returns from insurance companies (Schmähl 2011; Natali 2018). The solution of the early 2000s pension reforms was, at least partly, deconstructed. One of my interviewees summarized this as follows: ‘Riester came at a time when there was a kind of gold-​rush mood in the financial sector: we can do everything, we will do everything, we tinker the greatest products. We earn money with it, but it’s also good for the insurants. … And a lot of criticism came up. Thus, in the current political discussion Riester is very much on the defensive. I don’t know anyone right now in politics who would say: “Riester is great.” That’s a no-​go.’ (Interview 1) Alongside lack of profits due to capital market developments, there were also a number of other critical points, such as doubts on the

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Riester pension’s transparency and quality, as well as its much lower-​ than-​expected use, particularly with lower income groups (see Blank 2011). In sum, the private Riester pension was increasingly perceived as a ‘failure’ (Nullmeier 2015). In parallel to this, the problem of (future) poverty among older people came increasingly onto the agenda, for example with a campaign initiated by the parliamentary opposition and the trade unions in 2012 and 2013 (Schmidt 2014). Not least, this problem of poverty among older people was attributed to the reforms of the early 2000s. In the following statement, Annelie Buntenbach from the Confederation of German Trade Unions, argumentatively decouples the previous pension solution by referring to how its goal (that is, increasing pension levels) has not been met, to the contrary. From there, she moves on to elements of a new –​or rather old –​solution, namely stabilizing public pension levels: It really is high time for an honest analysis and political evaluation of what has been wreaked with the Riester reform in pension policy. … Even with very optimistic assumptions regarding the saving ratio, return, and costs, the overall level of public and Riester pension in old-​age lies significantly below the level that was reached some years ago with public pensions alone. … The statutory pension needs to be stabilised at least at the level where it is today in order to prevent mass old-​age poverty. (DGB 2014) The reform narrative –​the move towards a ‘three-​pillar pension system’, for example that recommended by the World Bank –​could serve its legitimization function less and less (Nullmeier 2015). In terms of the MSF, we find a partial disconnecting of the main solution in the policy stream and a slow-​but-​steady ripening of the problem stream through new argumentative couplings –​the new ‘crisis’ constellation, the reform’s incapability to ‘solve’ the old problem (putting the pension system on different pillars in the face of demographic change), and its creation of new problems (poverty among older people). Following the work of Blyth (2002) or Stiller (2010), this at least partial argumentative decoupling and deconstruction of the ‘multi-​pillar’ pension solution can be seen as the (necessary) first step towards introducing a new policy. In April 2016, Horst Seehofer (CSU chair at the time) was the first from within the governmental parties to explicitly state that ‘Riester has failed’, estimating that the parallel decrease of public pensions will lead to ‘about half of the population landing in social assistance’

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(Handelsblatt 2016). Interestingly, Seehofer also linked this in an argumentative decoupling to political considerations, by stating that the earlier pension reforms had led to a loss of trust and voters, and that the people’s parties together (SPD and CDU/​CSU) had over the years lost half of their voters (Handelsblatt 2016). Nahles (SPD), Minister of Labour at the time, replied that one could not simply say that the Riester pension has failed, but that indeed ‘the high-​flying expectations connected with the Riester pension in the early 2000s have not been met’, and especially that people with low incomes made no private provisions (Spiegel 2016). Overall, Nahles now describes the statutory pension as ‘significantly more robust and weather-​proof than the private competition’ (Spiegel 2016). Those exemplary quotations indicate argumentatively (de)couplings, which are in search of a new solution, slowly departing from the private Riester pension and returning to public pensions as the ‘more robust’ or favourable one. In other words, the general direction may be described as (partial) reversal, which brought about certain argumentative challenges. This is described by Meyer (2015) who saw a necessity to correct the course of the 2001 pension reforms, and to diminish again the third pillar’s role in poverty reduction and income maintenance. Strategically, however, she saw difficulties in terms of ‘recycling’ and significantly increasing public pensions again: It is hard to imagine that the persons in power would be ready, after the painful break with the Bismarckian model, to return to a system largely consisting of the first pillar. Factors against such an endeavour are the costs, expectable resistance from companies, possibly also from voters, and that a serious mistake would have to be confessed with such a move. (Meyer 2015, p 194) An interviewed ministerial official described the redefinition struggles quite clearly in 2015: ‘At the moment, I think, there is no answer yet to the issue of “low interest levels” in the area of old-​age provision. There is no answer yet to the question of what this means. And in particular, there is no answer yet as to which is compatible with the question: “Ok, but what about the 2001 reform, then? Then maybe that wasn’t so good after all? Well, but what are we doing now? Increase pension levels again? Increase pension contributions again?” Nobody

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wants that. Or rather, the employers don’t want it –​to, so to speak, drive down private provision again. That is, to reverse the reform. We have not quite reached that stage yet. … So, we are at a point where we don’t know how it goes on from here, but we can’t go back, or we don’t want to. An ambiguous situation.’ (Interview 2) From our perspective, this describes a situation where none of the argumentative couplings made has become dominant yet and led to a softening-​up, which would offer a clear orientation point for defining a new pension policy solution (see also Nullmeier 2015). The proposals for and reforms of German pension policy in the past decade are indicative of the corresponding definitional struggles. While it is beyond the scope and space of this chapter to study them in detail, two examples shall now be given. One example is the minimum pension scheme, which was finally agreed on in late 2019 and introduced in 2021 (Grundrente) –​as such, a way of strengthening public pensions again, but in an ‘upcycled’ form. From 2009, different forms of such a minimum pension had been anchored in the previous coalition treaties of different government coalitions, but it took a decade to soften up this ‘policy solution’ and argumentatively link it to political considerations to find agreement (see Blum 2019 for a detailed analysis). A second example concerns the Riester pension: when Ursula von der Leyen (CDU), Minister for Labour at the time, proposed the extra-​payment pension (Zuschussrente –​one of the minimum pension proposals) for those with very low pensions, she linked this to the condition of having made private provisions for at least five years: ‘It needs to make a difference whether someone accomplished something, paid contributions, made private provisions or not. Especially women, who raised children and were there for other people, we need to provide them with better security after a strenuous and responsibly led life’ (Focus 2011). Making private provisions an eligibility condition was continued in different proposals for a minimum pension (although not in the law finally agreed on by Parliament in July 2020). In a way, this proposal can be seen as an attempt to solve some of the Riester pension problems (for example, low take-​up) and thereby to ‘rescue’ it as a solution, at the same time stretching its boundaries (in the terms of Hall 1993) by increasing the quasi-​conditionality to have a private pension plan.11 Overall, the definitional struggles, although only briefly addressed here, show that the search for a new solution after the solution deconstruction phase involved a recoupling of ideas and ‘upcycling’ attempts.

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Conclusion Solution definition requires the binding of problems, policies, and political aspects through complex argumentative processes. As Kingdon (1995, p 181) highlighted, ideas, expertise, and proposals must have been developed ‘well in advance of ’ coupling. Moreover, proposals should have undergone a process of softening up, getting the policy community acquainted and receptive to them, and building ownership to facilitate a binding also with relevant policy actors (see Chapter 1). Yet this takes place under conditions of ambiguity and serendipity: more ‘solutions are available than windows to handle them’ (Kingdon 1995, p 176) and ‘there is bound to be some happenstance, depending on which participants are present, which alternatives are available, and even what catches people’s eyes’. If the process is so complex and so many outcomes are possible, it gets even more relevant to ask how the linking or binding of a certain proposal as the ‘solution’ to a problem and the political momentum into ‘a single package’ (Zahariadis 2014, p 26) is actually done. At the core of this stands information (Zahariadis 2014, p 30), which is then ‘strategically manipulated’ in an attempt to ‘clarify or create meaning’ for policy makers. Yet this goes along with the image that what can be coupled can also be decoupled again; and solutions that are defined can be deconstructed again. Stiller (2010) describes a process of de-​ legitimization –​by linking old principles and policies to failure or inefficiency –​as a necessary first step in the preparation of a new policy (see also Blyth 2002), so basically for any further fundamental policy change. In this chapter, this perspective was extended to policy reversal as a distinct type next to change and continuity, which is eye-​catching at the moment in the case of (German) pension policy (Sokhey 2017; Natali 2018; Bridgen 2019). This chapter has studied argumentative couplings (Blum 2018) in order to better understand the definition –​and notably also the deconstruction –​of policy solutions, by taking the ‘multi-​pillar’ solution in Germany as example. Yet while the solution deconstruction was relatively ‘widely disseminated and widely accepted’ (Hay 2001, p 202), there was no ‘widely perceived alternative in the form of a new policy-​making paradigm’ (Hay 2001, p 202). The private Riester pension was widely perceived as a failure, but the rubbish was not taken out –​it rather remains around as a kind of ‘zombie idea’ (Krugman 2019; Peters and Nagel 2020), accompanied by attempts at upcycling and ‘fixing’ its anomalies (Hall 1993). To summarize, the case showed how the quick deconstruction of a reform solution was accompanied

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by definitional struggles, proposals to ‘rescue’ the solution of private pension provision through adaptation, and proposals to return to public pension provision. If such a return, or reversal, happens, it is typically not in the form of recycling, but rather upcycling old ideas, combining them with something new which –​or so the argumentation runs –​ remedies problems of the past and moves them into the new time period. In investigating when argumentative couplings are successful (and when they are not), the case of argumentative decoupling and solution deconstruction merits special attention: not least, in some cases –​such as the Riester pension, but also atomic energy is a prime example (see Böcher and Töller, forthcoming) –​the ‘solution’ itself is argumentatively coupled into being the ‘problem’. Notes 1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

Operational (or instrumental) use denotes a more direct application of knowledge for policy interventions and alternatives, whereas informational (or conceptual) use is less direct, more long-​term, and more directed at general enlightenment (Knorr 1977; Amara et al 2004). Political-​strategic knowledge use includes the legitimization of predetermined positions, mobilization, or serving as a scapegoat for unpopular reforms. Non-​coupling arguments denote cases where a certain type of information is not linked to another stream, but remains centred at the same level (problem, policy, or politics). Examples are a classical ‘problem analysis’ or an election study (politics knowledge), which is used for political-​strategic reasoning. Notions of ‘course corrections’ and the like are quite widespread, but investigations of policy reversal as a distinct type are few. If an existing policy is adapted, we should expect that it is still described as being generally capable of solving the problem (Hall 1993), and only ‘further improved’ in response to new knowledge or new developments. As Blyth (2002, p 41) writes: ‘Again, such radical institutional changes make little sense without reference to the ideas that agents were able to use to form the authoritative diagnosis of the crisis at specific historical moments. … [E]‌ach solution was predicated on a particular notion as to “what went wrong” and therefore “what had to be done”.’ This is also what Zahariadis (2003, p 69) referred to as entrepreneurs who ‘constantly revise their solutions and combine them with others in an effort to make the package attractive to the widest possible audience’. The Riester pension, named after the chair of the commission that developed the reform proposal (Walter Riester, SPD, Minister for Labour and Social Affairs, 1998–​2002), was introduced in 2002. All quotes from interviews, policy documents, and newspapers throughout this chapter are my own translations. These would have foreseen that the annual pension adjustment is 0.6 percentage points lower than the average increase in wages of the previous years. Through its suspension in 2008 and 2009, the pension increased by 1.1 per cent instead of only 0.46 per cent.

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11

See, for example, how the contribution rate to the pension insurance was lowered from 19.9 per cent to 19.6 per cent from January 2012, and from January 2013 even to 18.9 per cent (the lowest rate since 18 years). Way back, plans had indeed originally been to make the Riester pension compulsory, but those plans found no agreement.

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Bridgen, P. and Meyer, T. (2014) ‘The liberalisation of the German social model: public-​private pension reform in Germany since 2001’, Journal of Social Policy, 43(1): 37–​68. Cohen, M.D., March, J.D. and Olsen, J.P. (1972) ‘A garbage can model of organizational choice’, Administrative Science Quarterly, 17(1): 1–​25. DGB (2014) ‘Buntenbach: Riester-​Rente auf dem Prüfstand’, 17 November, available at: www.dgb.de/​ t hemen/​ + +co++ 9bb15692-​6e2f-​11e4-​ab08-​52540023ef1a Dolan, D. (2019) ‘Multiple partial couplings in the Multiple Streams Framework: the case of extreme weather and climate change adaptation’, Policy Studies Journal, doi 10.1111/​psj.12341 Economist, The (1999) ‘The sick man of the euro’, 3 June. Fischer, F. (2003) Reframing public policy: Discursive politics and deliberative practices, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Focus (2011) ‘Von der Leyen hält an umstrittenen Rentenplänen fest’, 9 September, available at: www.focus.de/​finanzen/​altersvorsorge/​ rente/​ a ltersvorsorge-​ von-​ d er-​ l eyen-​ h aelt-​ a n-​ u mstrittenen-​ rentenplaenen-​fest_​aid_​663696.html Gál, R.I. and Monostori, J. (2017) ‘Economic sustainability and intergenerational fairness: a new taxonomy of indicators’, Intergenerational Justice Review, 2: 77–​86. German Bundestag (1997) ‘Entwurf eines Gesetzes zur Reform der gesetzlichen Rentenversicherung‘, Drucksache, 13/​8011. Hall, P. (1993) ‘Policy paradigms, social learning, and the state: the case of economic policymaking in Britain’, Comparative Politics, 25(3): 275–​96. Handelsblatt (2016) ‘CSU fordert Rentenreform: Seehofer hält Riester für gescheitert’, 8 April, available at: www.handelsblatt. com/​ p olitik/ ​ d eutschland/ ​ c su- ​ f ordert- ​ rentenreform- ​ s eehofer-​ erklaert-​ r iester- ​ f uer- ​ g escheitert/ ​ 1 3423222.html?ticket= ST-​ 7718257-​T0De1RfYeZtRGTczJa2O-​ap3 Hassenteufel, P. and Zittoun, P. (2017) ‘From policy analytical styles to policymaking styles’, in M. Brans, I. Geva-​May and M. Howlett (eds) Handbook of comparative policy analysis, London: Routledge, pp 56–​69. Hay, C. (2001) ‘The “crisis” of Keynesianism and the rise of neo-​ liberalism in Britain: an ideational institutionalist approach’, in J.L. Campbell and O.K. Pedersen (eds) The rise of neoliberalism and institutional analysis, Princeton: Princeton University Press, pp 193–​218. Hegelich, S., Knollmann, D. and Kuhlmann, J. (2011) Agenda 2010: Strategien –​Entscheidungen –​Konsequenzen, Wiesbaden: Springer VS.

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Herweg, N., Huß, C. and Zohlnhöfer, R. (2015) ‘Straightening the three streams: theorising extensions of the Multiple Streams Framework’, European Journal of Political Research, 54(3): 435–​49. Hinrichs, K. and Kangas, O. (2003) ‘When is a change big enough to be a system shift? Small system-​shifting changes in German and Finnish pension policies’, Social Policy and Administration, 37(6): 573–​91. Jones, M.D., Peterson, H.L., Pierce, J.J., Herweg, N., Bernal, A., Raney, H.L. and Zahariadis, N. (2016) ‘A river runs through it: a multiple streams meta-​review’, Policy Studies Journal, 44(1): 12–​36. Kingdon, J.W. (1995) Agendas, alternatives and public policies, New York: Pearson. Knorr, K. (1977) ‘Policy makers’ use of social science knowledge: symbolic or instrumental?’, in C.H. Weiss (ed) Using social research in public policy making, Lexington: Lexington Books, pp 165–​82. Krugman, P. (2019) ‘The Zombie style in American politics: why bad ideas just won’t stay dead’, New York Times, 29 April, available at: www.nytimes.com/2​ 019/0​ 4/2​ 9/o ​ pinion/​republican-​party-​ideas. html Lamping, W. and Rüb, F. (2004) ‘From the Conservative welfare state to an “uncertain something else”: German pension politics in comparative perspective’, Policy & Politics, 32(2): 169–​91. Meyer, T. (2015) ‘Die dritte Säule in der Alterssicherung –​brauchen wir eine Neubewertung nach der Finanz-​und Wirtschaftskrise? Deutschland im europäischen Vergleich’, Sozialer Fortschritt, 8: 189–​95. Natali, D. (2018) ‘Recasting pensions in Europe: policy challenges and political strategies to pass reforms’, Swiss Political Science Review, 24(1): 53–​9. Nullmeier, F. (2015) ‘Einstürzende Neubauten –​Statikprobleme im Säulenmodell der Alterssicherung’, Sozialer Fortschritt, 8: 196–​202. Peters, B.G. and Nagel, M.L. (2020) Zombie ideas: Why failed policy ideas persist, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Peters, B.G. and Barker, A. (1993) Advising West European governments: Inquiries, expertise and public policy, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Riester, W. (2004) Mut zur Wirklichkeit, Düsseldorf: Droste Verlag. Roberge, I. (2009) ‘Changing course: policy reversals, terrorist financing, and Title III of the USA Patriot Act’, Public Policy and Administration, 24(3): 265–​79.

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Rochefort, D.A. and Cobb, R.W. (1994) ‘Problem definition: an emerging perspective’, in D.A. Rochefort and R.W. Cobb (eds) The politics of problem definition: Shaping the policy agenda, Lawrence: University Press of Kansas. Rose, R. (1993) Lesson-​drawing in public policy: A guide to learning across time and space, Chatham: Chatham House. Schmähl, W. (2011) ‘Warum ein Abschied von der “neuen deutschen Alterssicherungspolitik” notwendig is’, ZeS-​Arbeitspapier 01/​2011. Schmidt, M.G. (2014) ‘Die Sozialpolitik der CDU/​CSU-​FDP-​ Koalition von 2009 bis 2013’, in R. Zohlnhöfer and T. Saalfeld (eds) Politik im Schatten der Krise: Eine Bilanz der Regierung Merkel 2009-​ 2013, Wiesbaden: Springer VS, pp 397–​426. Schnieber-​Jastram, B., Singhammer, J. and Storm, A. (2000) ‘Position der Union für einen Rentenkompromiss: 10 Forderungen zur Weiterentwicklung der Alterssicherung’, Soziale Sicherheit, 49(1): 21–​2. Sokhey, S.W. (2017) The political economy of pension policy reversal in post-​communist countries, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Spiegel (2016) ‘Nahles sieht Erwartungen an Riester-​Rente nicht erfüllt’, 17 April, available at: www.spiegel.de/​politik/​deutschland/​ andrea-​nahles-​sieht-​erwartungen-​an-​r iester-​rente-​nicht-​erfuellt-​a-​ 1087688.html Stiller, S. (2010) Ideational leadership in German welfare state reform: How politicians and policy ideas transform resilient institutions, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. Wehlau, D. (2009) Lobbyismus und Rentenreform: Der Einfluss der Finanzdienstleistungsbranche auf die Teil-​Privatisierung der Alterssicherung, Wiesbaden: VS. Weingart, P. and Lentsch, J. (2008) Wissen—Beraten—​Entscheiden: Form und Funktion wissenschaftlicher Politikberatung in Deutschland, Velbruck: Weilerswist. Wildavsky, A. (1979) Speaking truth to power, Boston: Little, Brown. Winkel, G. and Leipold, S. (2016) ‘Demolishing dikes: multiple streams and policy discourse analysis’, Policy Studies Journal, 44(1): 108–​29. Zahariadis, N. (2003) Ambiguity and choice in public policy: Political decision making in modern democracies, Washington: Georgetown University Press. Zahariadis, N. (2014) ‘Ambiguity and multiple streams’, in P. Sabatier and C. Weible (eds) Theories of the policy process, Boulder: Westview Press, pp 25–​58.

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Zahariadis, N. and Exadaktylos, T. (2016) ‘Policies that succeed and programs that fail: ambiguity, conflict, and crisis in Greek higher education’, Policy Studies Journal, 44(1): 59–​82. Zittoun, P. (2013) ‘From the garbage can model to the theory of recycling: reconsidering policy formulation as a process of struggling to define a policy statement’, Annals of the University of Bucharest/​ Political Science Series, 15(2): 39–​59. Zittoun, P. (2014) The political process of policymaking: A pragmatic approach to public policy, London: Palgrave Macmillan.

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3

Binding and Unbinding Problem–​Solution Associations in US Agricultural Policy Making: The Introduction and Demise of Direct Payments to Farmers Gerry Alons

Introduction In the domain of agriculture in the United States (US), a ‘window of opportunity’ for policy debate and change opens up approximately every four to five years. The Farm Bill expires after that period, unless it is extended or reauthorized by Congress, usually resulting in a ‘new’ Farm Bill. Failure to do so would result in many farm programmes ceasing to operate, while other programmes would revert to the provisions from the permanent law from the 1938 and 1949 Farm Bills, which would force the government to apply outdated price support levels for some commodities, for example. The need to authorize a Farm Bill to secure funding for existing programmes, combined with the negative repercussions of this ‘sunset clause’, secures that farm legislation is a regular topic on the political agenda. Despite being periodically up for debate, agricultural policy is an area par excellence where policy change tends to be difficult and incremental rather than far-​reaching. This policy stickiness is often attributed to a

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policy network favouring powerful farm interest groups who prefer state intervention, while retrenchment is periodically enabled by incentives emanating from budgetary problems and trade conflicts (Moyer and Josling 2002; Josling and Tangermann 2015). While these material and institutional factors are certainly important in explaining developments in agricultural policy, they have difficulty explaining why, at specific points in time, certain policy instruments rather than other alternatives were successfully constructed as appropriate and feasible policy solutions, became part of the dominant discourse, and were eventually turned into the selected policy outcome. Moreover, sometimes these new policy solutions became the object of much contestation almost as soon as they were implemented, resulting in vigorous political debate and a fluctuation in policy instrument mixes through the discontinuation of policies and the reintroduction of ‘new’ alternative policies –​or old policy instruments in new guises –​over time. The introduction and development of the policy instrument of decoupled direct income payments for farmers throughout four consecutive Farm Bills between 1996 and 2014 is a case in point. From its introduction as a temporary measure in the 1996 Farm Bill, it evolved into a fixed component of the farmers’ safety net in the 2002 Farm Bill, after which it took opponents of the policy instrument two Farm Bills to achieve discontinuation of the direct payments in favour of alternative farm support instruments. Empirically, this chapter addresses the question of why direct income payments were successfully constructed as an appropriate and feasible policy solution in the debate on the 1996 and 2002 Farm Bills, while this construction was problematized in both the 2008 and 2014 Farm Bill debates, but only resulted in the policy instrument’s discontinuation in 2014. The main argument this chapter puts forward is that only investigation of how problem–​solution associations are constructed and shift over time can provide a satisfactory answer to this question. The chapter finds that notwithstanding relatively stable farm interests and political institutions, the discursive strategies required to convincingly and successfully bind particular problem–​solution associations (and thus legitimate particular policy changes) are context-​sensitive –​the combination of fiscal constraint and a thriving farm economy providing a particularly enabling setting for de-​legitimating direct payments as an appropriate policy solution. While such factors are mentioned in existing literature (Moyer and Josling 2002; Josling and Tangermann 2015), this chapter more precisely shows how these policy context elements interact with policy actors’ interests and discursive strategies in the process of constructing policy solutions.

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Conceptually, a political constructivist approach is applied. As set out in Chapter 1, this entails a focus on the discursive activities of policy actors during the policy process. In this chapter, the focus is specifically on the first dimension of this approach: the discursive construction of problems and solutions, and how actors develop arguments binding problems and solutions, solidifying the association between the two and hence marking their proposed policy instrument as the appropriate and effective solution for the problem at hand, while de-​legitimating alternatives proposed by opponents. The chapter emphasizes that these discursive battles do not take place in a void, but need to be situated in the institutional, political, and economic context that constrains both the power constellations between actors and the type of problem–​ solution associations that can convincingly be made and are likely to be regarded appropriate by others. Translated to the case study, the focus is on how relevant actors (the administration, Congress and farm interest groups) with different material interests and ideas about appropriate farm policy, through discursive strategies, sought to (re)define problems and solutions –​ disconnecting existing problem–​solution associations and promoting new ones –​to legitimate their preferred course of action in the policy-​ making process, while taking into account the institutional power relations between these actors and the changing economic and political context over time. The political constructivist approach contributes to the explanation of fluctuation in policy instrument mixes in the Farm Bills over time by showing how alternative problem–​solution associations at different points in time gained support from a sufficient number of policy actors to become dominant in the policy debate and effectively influenced policy decisions. In the remainder of this chapter, the conceptual approach and methods applied are first elaborated, after which the empirical analysis focuses on the four consecutive Farm Bills of 1996, 2002, 2008, and 2014. The conclusion reflects on how the political constructivist approach contributes to explaining the longitudinal development in the role of direct payments in the US Farm Bill.

The ties that bind: connecting policy problems and policy solutions This chapter works from the assumption that a policy process is populated by a multitude of actors, ranging from government actors to interest groups and civil society, each with their own ideas and interests that they seek to see translated into policy agendas and

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policy outcomes. Whatever the main causes behind their preferred policy proposals –​be they based on material interests as rationalist and public choice approaches claim, or rather are completely shaped by ideational variables as some constructivist approaches assume –​they apply discursive strategies in their interactions with other policy actors to further their interests. The political constructivist approach to public policy applied in this volume puts these discursive activities front and centre. It is through discursive practices that actors construct a social ‘reality’, based on their cognitive and normative ideas about how the world works (or should work). An important discursive strategy during policy formulation is defining policy problems and appropriate solutions, while solidifying a particular problem–​solution association by argumentatively binding the specific problem and solution involved. While the ‘binding’ concept applied in this volume can be related to the ‘coupling’ concept in the Multiple Streams Framework (MSF) (Kingdon 1984) –​which refers to instances during which the ‘problem stream’ and the ‘policy stream’ connect –​it places greater emphasis on how the process of effectively cementing a problem–​solution association by means of discursive strategies operates, something the MSF neglected (Zittoun 2013, pp 42–​3). Binding involves the active construction (and deconstruction of alternatives) of the ‘problem’ and ‘solution’ as well as of the connection between the two. Problems do not just objectively present themselves but need to be defined: a single situation can be interpreted (or strategically framed) in different problem definitions –​as a whole literature on problem definition attests to –​and the same arguably goes for policy solutions. Similarly, associations between particular problems and solutions are not straightforward. A single problem has a multitude of potential solutions it could be ‘bound’ to, while a single policy solution can argumentatively be connected to different problem definitions (Alons and Zwaan 2016; Alons 2019). Whether problems are looking for solutions in a problem-​solving logic or whether solutions (preferred by certain actors) are rather looking for problems (see Cohen et al 1972; Zittoun 2013), the binding of problem–​solution associations is crucial and can only be achieved by means of convincing argumentative reasoning. The political constructivist approach emphasizing these discursive practices also highlights actors’ opportunity for strategic behaviour: framing problem definitions in a way that is conducive to forging problem–​ solution associations that align with their policy ideas and interests and can serve to persuade other policy actors in the political arena. Apart from binding problem–​solution associations positively connected to their

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preferred policy change, this also entails discursively downplaying or unbinding the problem–​solution associations underlying existing policies or competing policy alternatives. This can be done by denying that the problem defined is really a problem, or –​if that cannot be convincingly denied –​denying that it is the most urgent problem that needs to be addressed at that point in time, or by arguments that sever the causal links in these problem–​solution associations. The latter entails arguing that the proposed solution does not effectively address the problem –​ thus negating its problem-​solving potential. In a different vein, policy actors can attempt to reinstate previous policy solutions by rebinding discontinued policy instruments to a newly defined policy problem, developing a convincing legitimating discourse adapted to a changed policy context. In this constructive, discursive process, actors are both constrained and enabled by institutions and developments in the policy context. Institutions affect actor constellations, power dynamics, and hence the likeliness of some actors gaining access and influence in the policy process (Scharpf 1997). As a result, it will be easier for some actors to have their voices –​and discourses aimed at establishing and binding problem–​solution associations –​heard than others and be decisive when it comes to policy formulation and selection. Developments in the policy context –​for example, budgetary problems, natural disasters, and farm income developments in the case of agricultural policy –​ serve as an impetus for the construction or deconstruction of particular problem–​solution associations. They can help in defining and framing certain ‘problems’ to which preferred policy instruments (solutions) can be relatively easily and convincingly attached, or in contrast, in disconnecting problem–​solution associations underlying existing policies. In a situation of budgetary shortages, ‘massive spending’ or ‘ineffective spending’ on certain agricultural policies can be discursively framed as an important ‘problem’ to be dealt with, allowing the de-​ legitimation of existing policies or severing the causal logic of the problem–​solution associations underlying these policies. While these contextual factors in themselves do not cause a particular policy change, they provide policy actors with the means to devise discursive strategies that convincingly legitimate the policy solutions they are interested in and de-​legitimate existing or competing policies. Accounting for policy institutions and policy context thus helps to understand: (a) why certain policy actors are able to gain more prominence than others in the policy debate; and (b) why some discursive constructions are more easily legitimated than others or more readily accepted at particular points in time.

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Finally, as Chapter 1 indicates, a complete application of all three dimensions of the political constructivist approach addresses: (a) how policy actors define policy solutions; (b) how they successfully forge coalitions with actors supporting their arguments; (c) how they interact in multiple spaces of dispute (for example, the media and Parliament) in which the issue is discussed. Considering the longitudinal focus in the case under study and the limits to what can be addressed within the scope of a single chapter, the explicit focus here is on the first dimension. This does not take away, though, that the empirical analysis shows certain problem–​solution associations gaining dominance –​ potentially the result of effective coalition building –​while the data analysed include discursive interactions in various spaces of dispute. Although these two dimensions are thus not structural elements in the analysis, the empirical results may nonetheless point to relevant insights from these perspectives as well. These are reflected on in the conclusion to this chapter.

Methodological considerations The political constructivist approach applied in this chapter requires analysing the discursive strategies of and interactions between policy actors. This necessitates identifying relevant actors as well as sources where their positions and discourses can be found. Several formal and informal policy-​making institutions affect the type of actors that are important in US agricultural policy making, and have therefore been included in the analysis. Executive–​legislative relations favour the legislative branch when it comes to agricultural policy making, as Congress initiates and writes the new Farm Bill. The Agriculture Committees in the Senate and House of Representatives are of particular importance and are relatively protective of agricultural interests (Sheingate 2000; Sheingate et al 2017). They initiate hearings with stakeholders and other interested actors and design the content of the Bill before it reaches the floor in the Senate and the House. The influence of party leadership and budget committees through the policy agenda and expenditure guidelines, however, has resulted in an increasing need for accommodation between actors and groups with widely different interests (Bonnen et al 1996; Sheingate et al 2017). Such accommodation, for example, has taken the form of pro-​farm policy coalitions based on combining farm programmes favouring rural areas and nutrition programmes favouring urban areas. The transformations in food and fibre production, bringing to the fore new interested groups (for example, industry, traders and insurance

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providers), and the increasing importance society attributed to, for example, environmental goals, have induced an ever-​increasing and broad collection of actors interested in the Farm Bill. These trends have made agricultural policy more complex over time, requiring more and more issues and interests to be accommodated in the policy process by means of (potentially shifting) coalitions of actors in order to pass a new bill (Bonnen et al 1996; Outlaw et al 2011; Sheingate et al 2017). As agricultural actors continue to remain important and vocal, they have been included in the analysis. The positions and discourses of other interest groups and societal actors have been included to the extent that these actors are part of the debate in the media or congressional hearings. When analysing developments in the problem–​solution associations emerging and competing in the policy debate, the discourses of the following actors have been included: the executive, Congress (particularly the Agriculture Committees, but when it comes to actual decision making the House and Senate floors have also been taken into account), and farm interest groups. Primary and secondary sources have been used to collect the necessary data for analysis. These include White House proposals and positions on agricultural policy and speeches of the Secretary of Agriculture to establish the position and legitimating discourse of the executive branch. Transcripts of Agriculture Committee hearings and transcripts of the Senate and House floor debates have allowed for the analysis of competing discourses in Congress and discursive interactions between policy actors, potentially resulting in a dominant (or winning) discourse and the associated problem–​policy associations, leading to a particular policy decision. Interest group positions and discourses have been collected in three different ways. First, with respect to ‘usual suspects’, such as the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and the National Farmers Union (NFU), official position papers have been collected from their websites. Second, the Agriculture Committee hearing transcripts have provided a good overview of other groups and organizations involved in the debate as well as their discourse. Finally, media searches through Lexis-​Uni and Factiva (focusing on ‘farm bill’ and ‘direct payments’) have provided an additional source of not only interest group positions and discourses, but also of those of other political actors.

Decoupled direct payments in US agriculture Agricultural policy in the US dates back to the Great Depression in the 1930s. As many other economically developed countries, the US

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wishes to ascertain a sufficient and safe food supply (food security) for its citizens at reasonable consumer prices, while simultaneously guaranteeing a sufficient level of income for farmers. Considering that farming is a relatively risky profession, due to potential environmental changes and natural disasters (the Mother Nature argument) as well as market conditions beyond the farmers’ control (the market failure argument),1 a certain degree of state intervention in the sector is considered warranted. With respect to policy instruments for intervention in agriculture, a distinction can be made between price support policies and income and producer support policies. The former are policies that are aimed at affecting market prices and through these prices they, indirectly, also affect farm income. The latter include policies that directly contribute to farm income. Although these policies do not seek to affect market prices, the payments resulting from these policies may be based on or connected to market prices (Pasour and Rucker 2005). Direct payments are an example of income or producer support policies. In the US context they have been a part of the Farm Bill under different names and in different guises, connected to a greater or a lesser extent to current production and/​or prices. During the Great Depression, President Roosevelt introduced not only disaster programmes (providing payments to farmers in cases of natural disasters that destroyed their harvests), but also payments in exchange for setting aside land. In the Farm Bill of 1973, ‘deficiency payments’ were added to the policy mix. These are counter-​cyclical payments that pay the difference between a government-​set target price and the market price (if the market price is lower) in the form of ‘direct’ payments. In exchange, farmers participating in these programmes had to set aside part of their acreage as a measure to control supply. Deficiency payments are a form of price protection for when market prices are low and they supplement farmers’ income directly. In the 1996 Farm Bill debate, these payments were a particular issue of debate.

The 1996 Farm Bill: freedom to farm The 1996 Farm Bill was negotiated in an exceptional political and economic context. Politically, a democratic president, Bill Clinton, had to deal with a Congress where the Republican party had a majority in both houses. The government was further struggling with a large budget deficit and sought to obtain a balanced budget through cutting government programmes, among which those that were part of the Farm Bill. Simultaneously, the farm economy was thriving, enjoying

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high commodity prices. These contextual factors set the stage for the Farm Bill negotiations, a process that would be characterized by budgetary considerations and struggles in Congress. The framing of the problem definition that dominated the debate on the 1996 Farm Bill focused on a lack of market orientation in agriculture: there was too much government intervention and too little flexibility for farmers to respond to market signals as genuine entrepreneurs. This problem definition –​aside from the budgetary problems –​was shared among most of the policy actors, but their exact understanding of what this lack of market orientation entailed, and what the proper solution to the problem would be, varied. This resulted in essentially two competing positions: (a) that the problem should be solved by changing the settings of existing policy instruments; against (b) the position that the farm programme structure should be adapted by replacing existing policy instruments with new ones. The first position was defended by the Clinton administration, most farm organizations, and, initially, the agriculture committee of the Senate. While the Clinton administration did not take a leading role in the reform debate (US News and World Report 1995; CRS 1997), it did publish a guidance document, which argued that governmental policies should no longer ‘isolate producers from the market place’, preventing them ‘from fully responding to market price incentives, [and] expanding planting of alternative crops that could increase their farm profitability’ (Glickman 1995). The lack of market orientation in this argument revolves around problematizing government intervention to the extent that it constrains farmers’ production decisions and freedom to plant what they want, where they want. This problem could be solved by more planting flexibility for farmers taking part in government programmes, without questioning or infringing the policy instruments constituting the farm programmes themselves. The government therefore proposed to remove the planting restrictions attached to the deficiency payments while obtaining budget balance by reducing the acreage eligible for payments. This problem–​solution association dovetailed with the positions and discourses of major farm organizations and the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (Doyle 1995; Loop 1995). The AFBF jumped on the market-​orientation bandwagon to argue against the planting restrictions that had already bothered farmers for a long time (Star Tribune 1995). A dissonant voice came from the NFU. This organization emphasized the need for state intervention rather than market orientation, favouring non-​recourse loans over deficiency payments (Daily Oklahoman 1995a; Swenson 1995; Whitaker 1995).2

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In the Senate Agriculture Committee, however, more far-​reaching changes to the settings of existing policies were proposed by Republican committee chair Richard Lugar. Apart from abolishing the Export Enhancement Program, he argued for significant reductions in target prices for deficiency payments (rather than the eligible acreage) that would bring them down to market price levels (Lugar 1995). This would effectively lead to the payments not materializing without actually abolishing the policy instrument. Naturally, farm organizations did not support this ‘solution’ as it would result in no deficiency payments for farmers at all, instead of only a smaller amount of payments (due to a smaller eligible acreage). The second position introduced earlier, favouring restructuring of the farm programme, was dominant in the House of Representatives. The bipartisan Schumer-​Zimmer Farm Freedom Act proposal eliminating both deficiency payments and non-​recourse marketing loans over a period of five years –​heavily opposed by not only farm organizations but also a group of Democrat representatives who were willing to cut but not eliminate programmes (National Journal’s Congress Daily 1995a) –​ was eventually made more palatable in the committee chair’s ‘freedom to farm’ proposal, which combined the elimination of deficiency payments and planting restrictions, while compensating farmers with temporary direct decoupled payments during a transition period of seven years. Proponents hailed the increased market orientation that was introduced by eliminating planting restrictions and introducing payments decoupled from current prices and production (Senate 1995). And it was indeed a lack of market orientation that chairman Pat Roberts claimed to address by taking the government out of agriculture and having farmers produce for the market instead of for governmental programmes (House of Representatives 1996, H3147). Nevertheless, concerns were raised by both proponents and opponents of the Bill, boiling down to two essential critiques: the first (particularly House Democrats) lamenting the loss of the deficiency payments and the second criticizing the new decoupled payments. The loss of the counter-​cyclical element –​providing more payments when prices are low and fewer or no payments when prices are high –​was presented as an important breach into or even a complete loss of the farm safety net (House of Representatives 1996). Particularly Kika De la Garza, ranking Democratic minority member in the House Agriculture Committee, very vocally criticized the ‘elimination of the farm safety net’ and the ‘sudden and dramatic abandonment by the Government of its role in sharing the farmer’s risk’ (House of Representatives 1995, H13624–​H13625). While farmers similarly objected to eliminating the

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counter-​cyclical payments, their mobilization was limited, anticipating that the ‘freedom to farm’ compromise was likely to obtain a political majority (Daily Oklahoman 1995b). The fact that during this period market prices were so high that deficiency payments were not triggered anyway while decoupled support implied guaranteed payments irrespective of market prices is also suggested to have contributed to farm group acquiescence (National Journal’s Congress Daily 1995b). However, this was exactly the reason for the second critique, opposing the transitory decoupled payments as giving farmers too much money when commodity prices are high and too little when the market is down. Some members of Congress as well as the Environmental Working Group (EWG) even branded the new decoupled payments a ‘welfare programme’ for farmers, paying people to do nothing, or satirically compared them to sweepstakes with a guaranteed price (House of Representatives 1996, H3156; South Bend Tribune 1996). Roberts countered such arguments with a market-​oriented discourse emphasizing that the payments were transitory and ‘designed to wean farmers off price support assistance, as risk management accounts that should be used when prices are low’ and would allow for a transition to a situation in which farmers take full responsibility for their own economic life (State News Service 1996). Farmers worried, however that ‘it’s going to be very difficult to defend against the charge that it’s welfare’ and that the new payments would not ‘last its seven-​year intended life’ (The State Journal-​Register 1995). To summarize: the 1996 policy solution in which deficiency payments were eliminated and temporarily replaced by decoupled payments to farmers was introduced to address problems caused by government intervention in the market, particularly its effect on farmers’ production decisions. While nearly all policy actors subscribed to the problem definition of a lack of market orientation, their ideas about which policy instrument mix constitutes a proper balance between the role of the state and the role of the market in agriculture clearly varied. The precise combination of instruments in the eventual policy reform was enabled by the political and economic context of high farm prices, budgetary pressures, and the Republican majority in both houses of Congress.

The 2002 Farm Bill: farmers can have their cake and eat it too By the time the 2002 Farm Bill was debated, the policy context had changed dramatically. The Democratic administration had given way to a Republican administration under President George W. Bush. Farm

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prices had significantly declined, necessitating emergency aid (on top of the decoupled transitory payments) to alleviate farm income problems, while budgetary constraints had dissipated. Under these circumstances, the farmers’ fear that the new decoupled direct payments would swiftly come under pressure did not materialize. Instead, the debate focused on improving the farm safety net. While market orientation was still a consideration that was often alluded to in the 2002 Farm Bill debate, the dominant problem definition shifted to the farm programme providing inadequate income support in periods of low prices. In the discursive interactions, neither the problem definition nor the solution definition were highly contested: a counter-​cyclical instrument to supplement the existing farm programme was the solution ‘bound’ to the stated policy problem, while competing problem–​solution associations were limited and did not gain much support. Most policy actors argued that the proper solution to the farm income problem would be to complement the farm programme with a new counter-​cyclical payment instrument. In the House Agriculture Committee report on the 2001 ‘Farm Security Act’ proposal, it was stated that ‘no one on either side of the aisle predicted the current malaise of high cost and low commodity prices’, which were completely outside the control of farmers and necessitated emergency assistance in the past years. The proposal sought to retain planting flexibility (and with it the decoupled direct payments that were now dubbed ‘fixed’ instead of transitory) and to ‘provide a safety net for times of low prices’ by introducing a new ‘carefully crafted counter-​cyclical mechanism’ (House of Representatives 2001). The Senate report of its proposed ‘Agriculture, Conservation, and Rural Enhancement Act’ of 2001 put forward a similar problem statement: the ‘current program is not providing the type of flexible and market-​responsive income protection that is needed by farmers and ranchers in the current economic environment’ (Senate 2001b). The proposed solution was a new and improved safety net including both a continuation of the decoupled payments (named ‘direct fixed payments’ in the Senate report) and the introduction of counter-​cyclical payments. It is important to note that the deficiency payments that had been discontinued in 1996 to make the farm programme more market-​oriented were now effectively reintroduced (enabled by the shift in problem construction) in a newly shaped ‘counter-​cyclical payment’, with the argument that farm policy needed to be more market-​responsive. While the ‘market’ concept figures in both arguments, the former sought to restrict government intervention, whereas the latter served

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as a legitimation for renewed intervention. The decoupled direct payments were not a major issue of debate in themselves, but the planting flexibility attached to these payments were a feature that policy actors wished to maintain –​hence the support for turning them into fixed instead of temporary payments –​while the policy context of low farm prices and incomes and a lack of budgetary constraints was not conducive to questioning the payments. To the extent that the policy instrument was discussed, there was a shift in presentation of the instrument from one to secure the transition to less government support to an appropriate farm policy tool for delivering farm income assistance in the future. The congressional proposals aligned with the position of farm organizations. They preferred a ‘three-​legged stool’ of agricultural support –​combining fixed decoupled payments, counter-​cyclical payments, and marketing loans –​to secure a ‘more effective income safety net for producers, particularly to support our farmers when we have low price periods’ (Senate 2001a). After having depended on emergency assistance in the previous years, ‘most farm interests sought a more certain method of funding future countercyclical income support than ad hoc emergency laws’ (Congressional Research Center 2002). While the arguments presented so far formed the dominant discourse, this was not an uncontested hegemonic discourse. Richard Lugar had proposed an alternative that involved a phase-​out of all commodity support, and a shift towards encouraging risk management rather than income support through whole-​farm revenue insurance, income stabilization accounts, and participation in futures markets (Congressional Research Center 2002). He and others criticized the proposed Farm Bill for reversing the market-​oriented course of farm policy, stimulating overproduction, and undermining US objectives for reforming global agricultural trade as it could not claim to lead by example anymore.3 Such arguments and the underlying alternative problem–​solution association –​presenting risk management instruments as a long-​term solution to the farm income problem –​did not win the day, however. While the administration emphasized the need for a market-​oriented economic safety net ‘without encouraging sustained dependence on government’ (USDA 2001), it did not have a noticeable influence on the legislative debate (Congressional Research Center 2002). To summarize: changes in policy context enabled the argument that farm income was the most urgent problem to be addressed in 2002. Decoupled payments alone were not sufficient as they do not flexibly move along with market prices, providing inadequate support in situations of low prices. The newly dominant problem–​solution

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association implied the rebinding of counter-​cyclical payments as the proper policy solution. The fact that the decoupled payments that had been meant to be transitory became a ‘fixed’ feature in the Farm Bill was enabled by the sufficiency of budgetary space, and by the fact that the widely supported planting flexibility for farmers was connected to these payments. This allowed for the continued use of the market-​ orientation frame, despite the fact that more market distortion was introduced again through the new counter-​cyclical programme.

The 2008 Farm Bill: the lull before the storm Contrary to the periods of debate on the 1996 and 2002 Farm Bills, the 2008 Farm Bill was discussed in a more tranquil economic context: although diminished resources were available, there was no budget deficit and farm prices were on the rise (Congressional Research Center 2006). Politically, the Republican President now had to deal with a Democratic majority in both houses. Policy actors put forward competing problem–​solution associations, ranging from policy proposals only slightly adapting policy instruments to proposals for a complete overhaul of farm policy. The Republican administration was in the camp proposing relatively minor adaptations. It argued that despite the positive effects of previous reforms, the income support instruments were still not completely effective in years with low yields, ‘undercompensat[ing] when assistance was needed’, but not triggered because prices are not sufficiently low (Department of Agriculture Documents 2007). This problem could be solved by triggering counter-​cyclical payments based on shortfall in revenue (a combination of price and yields) instead of being based on market prices only. The revenue trigger would solve the problem of low-​ yield years, while simultaneously preventing overcompensation when support is not needed (Congressional Research Center 2006, 2007). The administration also wanted to make sure that US farm subsidies would not be subject to challenge from the World Trade Organization (WTO), and therefore preferred increasing the decoupled direct payments rather than other subsidies (Dow Jones Newswires 2007). Congress picked up on the idea of revenue-​triggered support, while the Senate Agriculture Committee also initiated a range of hearings collecting the input of stakeholders on the most adequate instrument mix: the proper proportions between decoupled payments and counter-​cyclical payments and whether crop insurance should be granted a more important role in the future. Representatives of farm organizations almost invariably named decoupled payments as the

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most desirable instrument –​reliable, budgetable, and compliant with WTO rules –​preferably combined with counter-​cyclical payments (Senate 2006a, 2006b). In the words of the National Corn Association Representative: ‘They [direct payments] create stability for farmers, for bankers, for the system as a whole, from one year to the next because, as we all know, there is always a time when you do not fit into one of the areas of a loss or market or wherever these programs seem to go’ (Senate 2007a). The AFBF repeated its support for a ‘three-​legged stool safety net structure’ maintaining all existing support instruments (Senate 2007a). The NFU, again, played a different tune. It argued that the best way to address the farm income problem and ascertain sufficient aid in times of need, would be a purely counter-​cyclical safety net related to current market conditions (for example, production cost and prices) instead of direct payments based on historical production data (Dow Jones Newswires 2007). During the Senate hearing the NFU proposed to eliminate direct payments altogether, which it claimed –​pointing at critical articles in the Washington Post –​‘are difficult to defend when you have 4$-​a-​bushel corn’ (Senate 2007a). This newspaper had indeed been very critical of US farm policy, claiming that ‘farm subsidy programs have become so all-​encompassing and generous that they have taken much of the risk out of farming for the increasingly wealthy individuals who dominate it’ (Washington Post 2006). Some senators raised similar concerns with respect to direct payments, fearing that following Secretary Johanns’ suggestion to increase the payments would ‘invite bad publicity if prices and production turn out to be good in the future’ (Department of Agriculture Documents 2007). Plans for the most far-​reaching overhaul of the farm payment system came from a small number of lawmakers –​united in the conviction that the main problem of farm policy was that it was too interventionist and insufficiently market-​oriented. Senator Richard Lugar, in his Farm, Ranch, Equity, Stewardship, and Health Act, proposed replacing commodity payments with a universal crop insurance programme (US Fed News 2007), while Ron Kind and Jeff Flake, in a bipartisan endeavour, put forward their Farm 21 plan in the House Agriculture Committee, entailing a phase-​out of marketing loans, counter-​cyclical payments, and decoupled direct payments and a transition to farmer-​ held risk management accounts and revenue insurance tools (Farm Policy Facts 2018). Farmers were quick to label the proposal ‘Kinda Flakey’ and argued that it was ‘mistakenly being marketed as “reform” when it is nothing more than “repeal” [and] would dismantle the farm safety net’ (Delta Farm Press 2007). The amendment did not survive the House floor, where Republicans and Democrats united to defeat it.

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In the bills that eventually passed in the Senate and the House, the problem statement was mainly circumscribed to commodity programme price-​triggers failing ‘to adequately support producers when crop production declines’ (Senate 2007b). The selected solution was complementing existing policy instruments allowing farmers to opt for a revenue-​based programme –​Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) –​which would ensure ‘by including both price and yield in the safety net [that] assistance is better targeted to times when it is most necessary’ (House of Representatives 2007). While the Senate report did not mention any issues with respect to decoupled direct payments, the House report acknowledged existing critique on the payments ‘for being distributed to producers regardless of market conditions’, but emphasized that it was the only type of support payment available for some commodities and was compatible with WTO rules (House of Representatives 2007). In the end, the 2008 Farm Bill left the three-​ legged stool of farm support intact, only making slight changes in the policy settings of these instruments, while introducing the ACRE option. To summarize: while critique on direct payments in the media and among some lawmakers expanded, the programme was not seriously threatened, with no apparent urgent ‘problems’ arising from the policy context that would specifically target them. Apart from the problem construction behind the critique not yet being sufficiently widely shared, the relatively stable budget situation (no zero-​sum games between policy instruments), the Democratic majority in both houses of Congress, combined with WTO considerations as a result of the ongoing Doha round of negotiations, were not conducive to such policy elimination that would undoubtedly unleash the farmers’ wrath. Yet, the seeds that were sown questioning the tenability of decoupled payments would flourish in the 2014 Farm Bill debate that took place in a significantly altered policy context.

The 2014 Farm Bill: direct payments in the spotlight Debate on the 2014 Farm Bill took place when the US was recovering from the financial and economic crisis it had been plunged into five years earlier. The policy context was now characterized by high budget deficits, rising farm prices and incomes (due to shortages on commodity markets), and a divided Congress where Republicans dominated the House,4 while Democrats held a majority in Congress. The budgetary context was particularly constraining, as the Budget Control Act 2011 provided for automatic ‘sequesters’ –​mandatory spending cuts and

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ceilings –​if Congress did not take sufficient budgetary action (CRS 28.11.2011 R42040). Given this policy context, the Bipartisan Policy Center and the White House set the stage for agricultural reform from a fiscal reductions perspective, calling for across-​the-​board cuts (Bipartisan Policy Center 2010; White House 2010). While they initially did not single out specific policy instruments, direct payments quickly surfaced as a prime target for reform, as they were successfully constructed as the policy instrument par excellence that highlighted what was wrong (problem definition) with agricultural policy: it provided support to wealthy farmers, regardless of need. The media, environmental groups, and agricultural economists discursively contributed to this problem construction. The New York Times emphasized the need for reform on many aspects of the Farm Bill, but specifically denounced direct payments, arguing ‘you can’t keep sending checks to people regardless of need’ (New York Times 2011a, 2011b), while the EWG added that ‘it’s extremely hard to justify those payments, and distribution is skewed to the large and wealthier farms’ (The Salina Journal 2011). The high farm prices during a period of economic recovery from the financial crisis provided fertile soil for this problem construction, lending credence to questions of how one can ‘justify this kind of money going to a sector of the economy that’s booming while other folks in this country are suffering’ (New York Times 2011c). The solution to this policy problem –​as suggested by agricultural economists –​would be to ‘take direct payments and turn them into a program that only pays when something bad happens … rather than having something that puts targets on farmers’ backs’ (Penton Insight 2011). This focus on appropriate farm policy solutions providing a safety net in times of need (and only then) also permeated the discursive interactions between political actors. The administration now argued that particularly decoupled direct payments were unnecessary and indefensible, ‘providing too much support in good times’ –​in the context of high prices and incomes –​while they were ‘not an adequate safety net during difficult times’ (USDA 2012, p 124; White House 2011). Many lawmakers in Congress joined the chorus, emphasizing that the focus should be on effective and defensible policies and that, therefore, the era of direct payments was over (Senate 2012). While the problem construction targeted direct payments for elimination –​the shift in problem definition severing earlier problem–​solution associations promoting direct payments –​it simultaneously legitimated agendizing other policy instruments for political consideration. A new version of

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a counter-​cyclical programme and revenue-​based crop insurance were discursively bound as appropriate policy solutions to the problem at hand, with the argument that these instruments only pay out when necessary: counter-​cyclical payments being made when prices drop below a pre-​established target price and crop insurance only kicking in with low yield or revenue (House of Representatives 2012b, 2014; Senate 2012). This problem–​solution association prevailed in the political debate. Farm representatives tried to take the sting out of the problem construction of too much support when it is not needed by emphasizing that the direct payments were also particularly important in times of high prices and fiscal constraints as they guaranteed a strong farm safety net for the lean years (Senate 2011). This argument negates the assumption that the needs base of separate policy instruments can be evaluated based on the situation at the time at which the support is distributed, establishing an argumentative discourse that seeks to bind a problem–​solution association that still includes direct payments. Others tried to defend direct payments by alternatively constructing market distortion as the main problem in farm policy that required maintaining rather than eliminating the non-​distorting most WTO-​ compliant part of the safety net (Republican Committee News Release 2011; House of Representatives 2012a). Neither of these discursive strategies constructing alternative problem–​solution associations gained much traction, however. Becoming aware that they were fighting a losing battle, the AFBF (2011) quickly changed its tune, accepting that direct payments could not be saved, and shifted towards a needs-​based discourse to promote a newly augmented revenue-​based crop insurance instrument (Delta Farm Press 2012; Senate 2012, p 2). The final outcome of the 2014 Farm Bill indeed combined the elimination of decoupled direct payments with the introduction of enhanced counter-​cyclical and crop insurance programmes. In the context of fiscal constraints, high farm prices and incomes, and economic malaise in much of the rest of society, the direct payments’ decoupledness that had earlier been considered part of their charm –​ contributing to market orientation and WTO compliance –​was now successfully constructed as ‘problematic’ as it squandered taxpayers’ money on farm aid that was not needed.

Conclusion This chapter has empirically shown that in the past two decades of US farm policy making, vigorous debate between coalitions of proponents

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and opponents of a retreat of the government from intervention in the agricultural sector has resulted in shifting problem–​solution associations in four consecutive Farm Bills (1996, 2002, 2008, and 2014). Comparing these Farm Bills (see Table 2), it is clear that the prevailing problem–​solution association in each Farm Bill separately is in line with the policy outcomes of that bill, while shifts in problem–​ solution associations across the different Farm Bills are able to explain the longitudinal development of the decoupled direct payments instrument: its introduction, initial resilience, and eventual demise. Introduced in 1996 as ‘temporary’ compensation in the transition to a more market-​oriented agricultural policy, direct payments were soon reframed as a permanent and central instrument within the farm safety net (2002), but later de-​legitimated as a policy that did not provide sufficient support in bad times (2008), while providing support regardless of need in good times (2014). Devising these problem definitions and binding problem–​solution constructions required discursive argumentation, and the analysis also shows how the policy context is an important interacting variable that explains why the binding of particular problem–​solution associations was successful at specific points in time, and not viable at other moments. In this vein, fiscal constraints paved the way for more far-​reaching reforms –​significantly changing the instruments rather than their settings –​being conducive to discursive strategies binding money-​ saving solutions (instrument elimination) to the prevalent policy problems in 1996 and 2002. The precise framing of the farm income problem shifted with developments in the farm economy: a stagnating or recovering farm economy contributing to the problematization of ‘too little support when it is needed’ (for example in 2002 and 2008), while a thriving farm economy aided problematizing over-​generous support regardless of need in 1996 and particularly 2014. Combining different contextual elements and prevailing problem constructions, we can explain why, in 2008, eliminating decoupled direct payments was difficult to present as an acceptable solution, considering there was no fiscal reason to save on farm programmes or give up the least market-​ distorting policy instrument, while this would only deteriorate the problem of insufficient support in low-​yield years. In contrast, in 2014, elimination of direct payments could successfully be constructed as the proper solution, binding it to the problem of farm support regardless of need, in the context of fiscal restraint and high farm prices and incomes, while others suffered in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Similarly, with respect to the fluctuation in the role of counter-​cyclical

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Table 2: Problem–​solution associations and policy outcomes in the 1996, 2002, 2008, and 2014 Farm Bills Dominant problem–​solution association

Competing alternative problem–​ solution associations

Policy outcome

1996

Fiscal constraints Thriving farm economy Divided government

Problem: farm policy lacks market orientation, causing farmers to produce for government programmes rather than responding to market signals. Solution: eliminating deficiency payments and introducing transitory decoupled payments with planting flexibility for farmers

Different solution: decreasing instead of eliminating deficiency payments and no transitory decoupled payments Different solution: eliminating deficiency payments without introducing transitory decoupled payments

Deficiency payments eliminated Transitory decoupled payments introduced for a seven-​year period

2002

Ample fiscal space Stagnating farm economy Republican majority Doha Round commenced

Problem: farm policy is insufficiently flexible and market-​responsive to provide a proper safety net Solution: reintroducing a counter-​ cyclical programme and turning the transitory payments into fixed decoupled income payments

Different problem and solution binding: farm policy lacks sufficient market orientation, which should be solved by phasing out all commodity support and shifting policy towards a risk-​ management approach (insurance, income stabilization accounts, futures markets)

Reintroduction of a counter-​ cyclical programme Transitory decoupled payments become fixed

(continued)

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Farm Policy context Bill

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Table 2: Problem–solution associations and policy outcomes in the 1996, 2002, 2008, and 2014 Farm Bills (continued) Competing alternative problem–​ solution associations

Policy outcome

2008

Somewhat increasing fiscal constraints Growing farm economy Doha Round ongoing

Problem: farm income problem: the price triggers of income support programmes fail to adequately support producers in low-​yield years Solution: introduce a revenue-​ triggered farm payments programme and have farmers choose between price-​triggered or revenue-​triggered counter-​cyclical payments

Different solution: make counter-​cyclical Introduction of an optional payments revenue triggered (no farmer revenue-​triggered counter-​ choice) and increase the non-​market-​ cyclical payment programme distorting decoupled payments Different problem and solution binding: farm policy lacks sufficient market orientation, which should be solved by replacing commodity support with risk management programmes

2014

Fiscal constraints Thriving farm economy against struggling overall US economy Doha Round ongoing

Problem: farm income problem: farm programmes provide support regardless of need Solution: replace existing programmes, particularly decoupled direct payments, with policy instruments that provide sufficient support (only) in time of need

Different solution: maintain decoupled direct payments as they enable saving for the lean years Different problem and solution binding: prevent lack of market orientation by maintaining the most WTO-​compliant payments, that is, decoupled payments

Elimination of decoupled direct payments Adaptation of counter-​ cyclical payments Enhanced crop insurance programmes

BINDING AND UNBINDING ASSOCIATIONS

Dominant problem–​solution association

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Farm Policy context Bill

THE POLITICAL FORMULATION OF POLICY SOLUTIONS

payments in the farm programme, the combination of budget deficits and a thriving farm economy enabled a discourse geared at eliminating these payments in 1996. By 2002, however, farm economy stagnation combined with ample budgetary space was conducive to a discursive strategy prioritizing the farm income problem and revival of the counter-​cyclical programme. We may conclude that problem–​solution associations are of crucial importance in the policy process in order to explain policy developments over time, but that the discursive strategies required to bind particular problem–​solution associations successfully are very context-​sensitive. Application of a political constructivist approach helps to uncover the interactions between institutional and contextual factors and actor interests and discursive strategies in the process of policy solution formulation, to arrive at a better understanding of particular moments of (un)successful policy change. While this chapter did not explicitly focus on the coalition-​building element of the pragmatist constructivist approach, nor differentiate between different spaces of debate, the analysis also allows for some reflection on these concepts. For example, coalition building in the congressional ‘space of debate’ essentially revolves around building bipartisan majorities, where considerations of partisan contestation sometimes clash with lawmakers’ constituency-​related interests (for example, depending on whether they are from rural or urban districts). Although the Republican party is generally more favourably disposed towards market orientation and risk management, while the Democratic party has long favoured selective intervention combined with supply controls to manage the market to some extent (and is specifically protective of the food-​aid part of the Farm Bill), the case analysis showed that both the introduction of more far-​reaching reforms as well as their defeat in Congress was often based on bipartisan coalitions. More explicit focus on the building and shaping of such bipartisan coalitions would therefore be a fruitful avenue for further research. With respect to different spaces of debate, the analysis also indicates that national media platforms provided ample space to actors with fundamental critique on farm programmes, while such critique only significantly affected the congressional space of debate –​generally more positively disposed towards farm policies –​when the contestation in the media was very intense and dovetailed with important developments in the policy context (for example, high farm prices and fiscal constraints). Further investigation into the politicization of farm policies in the media and its interaction with debates in Congress could shed more light on how different spaces of debate may affect one another and

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help explain why certain problem–​solution bindings prevail and are translated into policy outcomes. Notes 1

2

3

4

These market conditions include the inelasticity of farm commodity prices (consumers can only consume so much as a result of which larger supply will quickly result in lower prices) and the fact that farmers cannot directly respond to price changes by reducing or increasing production. The non-​recourse loans constituted a type of market-​price support, which is considered to have more market-​distorting effects than deficiency payments in terms of encouraging production and maintaining prices artificially high (Glauber and Effland 2016, p 12). In the Doha Round of the WTO, the US was developing initiatives to scale back farm support on a global scale to facilitate agricultural trade. The new Republican majority in the House after the 2010 mid-​term elections was brought about by the election of a large number of Tea Party conservatives with campaign promises to cut spending (Bosso 2017).

References AFBF (American Farm Bureau Federation) (2011) Letter to the chairs of the Senate and House Agriculture Committees, 21 October. Alons, G. (2019) ‘The advantage of paradigmatic contestation in shaping and selling public policies’, Journal of Public Policy, 40(4): 651–​71. Alons, G. and Zwaan, P. (2016) ‘New wine in different bottles: negotiating and selling the CAP post-​2 013 reform’, Sociologia Ruralis, 56(3): 349–​70. Bipartisan Policy Center (2010) ‘Restoring America’s future’, available at: https://​bipartisanpolicy.org/​report/​restoring-​americas-​future/​ Bonnen, J.T., Browne, W.P. and Schweikhardt, D.B. (1996) ‘Further observations on the changing nature of national agricultural policy decision processes, 1946-​1995’, Agricultural History, 70(2): 130–​152. Bosso, C. (2017) Framing the Farm Bill, Kansas: University Press of Kansas. Cohen, M.D., March, J.G. and Olsen, J.P. (1972) ‘A garbage can model of organizational choice’, Administrative Science Quarterly, 17(1): 1–​25. Congressional Research Center (1997) ‘The Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996: an overview’, 6 January, available at: www.everycrsreport.com/​reports/​97-​69.html Congressional Research Center (2002) ‘The 2002 Farm Bill: overview and status’, 3 September, available at: www.everycrsreport.com/​ reports/​RL31195.html Congressional Research Center (2006) ‘Previewing a 2007 Farm Bill’, 30 January, available at: www.everycrsreport.com/​reports/​RL33037.html

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Congressional Research Center (2007) ‘The USDA 2007 Farm Bill proposal: possible questions’, 12 March, available at: www. everycrsreport.com/​files/​20070312_​RL33916_​6d732a62027d442 1bd55275b638b5dff4ceca0be.pdf Congressional Research Center (2011) ‘Farm safety net proposals and the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction’, 28 November, available at: www.hsdl.org/​?view&did=695315 Daily Oklahoman (1995a) ‘Farmers Union lists top agriculture issues for 1995’, 14 January. Daily Oklahoman (1995b) ‘Freedom to Farm Bill compromise touted’, 1 August. Delta Farm Press (2007) ‘Kind-​Flake Farm Bill proposal draws kudos, complaints’, 18 July. Delta Farm Press (2012) ‘Deep-​Loss Farm Bill policy proposal pushed’, 14 March. Departure of Agriculture Documents (2007) Transcript of remarks by agriculture secretary Mike Johanns as he unveiled USDA’s 2007 Farm Bill proposals, 31 January, release no. 0021.07. Dow Jones Newswires (2007) ‘USDA seeks to make farm subsidies safer from WTO Challenge’, 31 January. Doyle, B. (1995) Testimony on behalf of the Illinois Department of Agriculture for the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, 13 June. Farm Policy Facts (2018) ‘It’s still “kinda flakey” to destroy farm policy with anti-​farmer amendments’, available at: www.farmpolicyfacts. org/​2018/​06/​its-​still-​kinda-​flakey-​to-​destroy-​f arm-​policy-​with-​ anti-​farmer-​amendments/​ Glauber, J.W. and Effland, A. (2016) ‘US agricultural policy: its evaluation and impact’, IFPRI Discussion Paper 01543, available at: www.ifpri.org/​ publication/​united-​states-​agricultural-​policy-​its-​evolution-​and-​impact Glickman, D. (1995) Statement before the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, 13 June. House of Representatives (1995) Debate on the conference report on H.R. 2491, Congressional Record –​ House, 20 November, H13397-​H13692. House of Representatives (1996) Floor debate on the conference report on HR2854 ‘Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996’, Congressional Record –​House, 28 March, H3147-​H3169. House of Representatives (2001) Committee on Agriculture report on the ‘Farm Security Act of 2001’, 2 August. House of Representatives (2007) Committee on Agriculture report on the ‘Farm, Nutrition, and Bioenergy Act of 2007’, 23 July.

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House of Representatives (2012a) Hearing before the Committee of Agriculture, 2 April, Dodge City, Kansas. House of Representatives (2012b) Formulation of the 2012 Farm Bill, hearing before the Committee of Agriculture, 18 May. House of Representatives (2014) Floor debate on conference report on H.R. 2642 ‘Federal Agricultural Reform and Risk Management Act of 2014’, 29 January, H1485-​H1501. Josling, T. and Tangermann, S. (2015) Transatlantic food and agricultural trade policy: 50 years of conflict and convergence, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing. Kingdon, J.W. (1984) Agendas, alternatives and public policies, Boston: Little, Brown. Loop, C. (1995) Testimony on behalf of the American Farm Bureau Federation Florida Farm Bureau for the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, 13 June. Lugar, R.G. (1995) Opening statement for the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, 16 February. Moyer, W. and Josling, T. (2002) Agricultural policy reform: Politics and process in the EU and the US, Aldershot: Ashgate. National Journal’s Congress Daily (1995a) ‘Schumer, Zimmer unveil anti-​farm Farm Bill’, 15 June. National Journal’s Congress Daily (1995b) ‘Farm Bureau has mixed reaction to budget measure’, 17 November. New York Times (2011a) ‘Here’s an easy one’, 16 January. New York Times (2011b) ‘In battle over subsidies, some farmers say no’, 23 June. New York Times (2011c) ‘Farmers facing loss of subsidy may get new one’, 18 October. Outlaw, J.L., Richardson, J.W. and Klose S.L. (2011) ‘Farm Bill stakeholders: competitors or collaborators?’, Choices, 26(2): 1–​4. Pasour, E.C. and Rucker, R.R. (2005) Plowshares and pork barrels: The political economy of agriculture, Oakland: The Independent Institute. Penton Insight (2011) ‘Changes coming in farm programs?’, 20 January. Republican Committee News Release (2011) ‘In case you missed it: FB News profiles chairman Lucas’, 8 February. Scharpf, F.W. (1997) Games real actors play: Actor-​centered institutionalism in policy research, Boulder: Westview Press. Senate (1995) Floor debate on the ‘7-​year Balanced Budget Reconciliation Act of 1995 –​conference report’, Congressional Record –​Senate, 17 November, S17315-​S17330. Senate (2001a) ‘Farm Bill issues’, hearing before the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, 27 October.

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Senate (2001b) Agricultural Committee report on the ‘Agriculture, Conservation, and Rural Enhancement Act of 2001’, 7 December. Senate (2006a) Regional Farm Bill field hearing in Ankeny, Iowa before the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, 24 July. Senate (2006b) Regional Farm Bill field hearing in Great Falls, Montana before the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, 17 August. Senate (2007a) Hearing before the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, 25 April. Senate (2007b) Report of the Committee of Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry on the ‘Food and Energy Security Act of 2007’, 2 November. Senate (2011) ‘Agriculture: growing America’s economy’, hearing before the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, 17 February. Senate (2012) ‘Risk management and commodities in the 2012 Farm Bill’, hearing before the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, 15 March. Sheingate, A. (2000) ‘Institutions and interest group power: agricultural policy in the United States, France, and Japan’, Studies in American Political Development, 14(2): 184–​211. Sheingate, A., Scatterday, A., Martin, B. and Nachman, K. (2017) ‘Post-​ exceptionalism and corporate interests in US agricultural policy’, Journal of European Public Policy, 24(11): 1641-​1657. South Bend Tribune (1996) ‘Farm program generates timely PR attack’, 2 March. Star Tribune (1995) ‘Farm Bill is an uncertain crop: food stamps, crop subsidies among scrutinized programs’, 16 January. State News Service (1996) ‘House begins historic Farm Bill debate’, 28 February. Swenson, L.H. (1995) Testimony on behalf of the National Farmers Union for the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, 13 June. The Salina Journal (2011) ‘Slashing farm subsidies: is now the time?’, 23 January. The State Journal-​Register (1995) ‘Illinois farmers concerned about Freedom to Farm Act’, 17 November. US Fed News (2007) ‘Direct payments costing taxpayers billions’, 1 November. US News and World Report (1995) ‘Eating into the deficit’, 16 March.

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USDA (2001) ‘Food and agricultural policy: taking stock for the new century’, available at: https://​ntrl.ntis.gov/​NTRL/​dashboard/​ searchResults/​titleDetail/​PB2002105128.xhtml USDA (2012) ‘FY 2013 budget summary and annual performance plan’, available at: www.usda.gov/​our-​agency/​about-​usda/​budget/​ budget-​2013 Washington Post (2006) ‘Farm program pays $1.3 billion to people who don’t farm’, 2 July. Whitaker, J.R. (1995) Testimony on behalf of the Iowa Farmers Union for the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, 9 March. White House (2010) The moment of truth: Report of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, Washington: Social Security Administration, available at: www.ssa.gov/​history/​reports/​ ObamaFiscal/​TheMomentofTruth12_​1_​2010.pdf Zittoun, P. (2013) ‘From the garbage can model to the theory of recycling: reconsidering policy formulation as a process of struggling to define a policy statement’, Annals of the University of Bucharest/​ Political science series, 15(2): 39–​59.

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The Role of Expert Reporting in Binding Together Policy Problem and Solution Definition Processes Magalie Bourblanc, Gabrielle Bouleau, and Philippe Deuffic

Introduction Our objective in this chapter is to study expert reporting as a type of political work that can powerfully link public problems with policy solutions. In particular, we look at expert categorization as a type of binding process for policy problems and solutions. Expert categories are both discursive and material arguments: they represent complex discursive strategies that carry specific framings of material reality. Our hypothesis is that expert reporting and categories can play a powerful binding and cementing role in problem definition and policy solutions since they display the same properties as policy instruments (Lascoumes and Le Galès 2005), that is, they implicitly carry specific framings and perform lock-​in effects. In this chapter we focus on the expert category of environmental indicators. The environment is a policy sector prone to scientific and political controversy, where expert knowledge plays an important framing role (Jordan and Greenaway 1998; Fischer 2000; Forsyth 2003; Miller 2004; Aykut and Dahan 2015). Framing, here, is the ordering process through which experts select and label the relevant features of the situation. In this chapter, we first demonstrate that despite their relation to nature, ecological indicators should not be

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taken for granted: they are not just neutral technical categories but partly political constructions. Hence, more often than not, negotiations around the elaboration of environmental indicators are politically charged even though they use technical terminology and reasoning. They are seldom pre-​established categories but hybrid categories that indicators’ promotors tweak to adjust to various influences. We selected three cases studies for examination, chosen because they represent various degrees of competition –​sometimes even controversy –​in the elaboration of ecological indicators. Looking at contested cases allows us to analyse expert reporting in-​the-​making and prevents us from taking false assumptions for granted. We chose contrasting case studies that could display the two types of controversy distinguished by Gingras (2014, pp 114–​15) –​ that is, scientific controversy, which happens in relatively confined spaces, and public controversy, which mobilizes various actors, way beyond the circle of scientists (for example, journalists, activists, political and economic actors and citizens). We thus successively present the construction of indicators in the field of water pollution in rivers and at sea and in the field of forest biodiversity. We start by showing that, in order for environmental indicators to be legitimated, multiple streams (administrative, policy, political, the media and so on) need to be aligned around the expert category promoted. In other words, indicators’ promotors strive to make their expert category compatible with the framing of the problem but also with its adequate solution in various politico-​administrative spaces across government levels. We see that, in adverse contexts, when alignment across streams and spaces proves to be challenging, the imposition of expert indicators may occur through the rolling out of scientific programmes that feed indicators with data. Once expert categories are informed with such knowledge and data, they become more difficult to undo, hence binding together a specific way of seeing the problem and of conceiving its policy solution. In the discussion section, we address the type of framing and lock-​in effects performed by expert reporting in such a cementing process.

Reorienting water-​quality policy solutions through a discrete medium: the biotic indicator in French rivers In the 1950s, the issue of poor housing in metropolitan France reached the top of the political agenda (with Abbé Pierre, Catholic priest and founder of the Emmaus movement, calling for action in 1954) and the problem became increasingly visible with the repatriation of populations

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from former colonies and their search for housing. At that time, the Commissariat Général au Plan was in charge of economic planning. As such, it provided a specific space for debate to link public problems to policy solutions. It published intersectoral reports and policy briefs. In one of them, the Plan’s experts developed a causal argument in which they linked the problem of housing to the management of water resources and the management of these resources to water-​quality indicators and eco-​taxes. Indeed, modelling the effects of a housing provision policy, which included improved domestic access to tap water, the Plan’s engineers and economists expressed concern about a possible shortage of good-​quality water by 1985 (Guillaumat et al 1962). They advocated an economic solution, based on a tax on the use of water, to finance depollution. The definition and quantification of good-​quality water were, however, controversial issues. Water may be of good sanitary quality but in poor ecological condition (poor environmental water quality). Some indicators can tell whether water is polluted but cannot determine the cause of the pollution. Public health experts at the Plan argued in favour of a health indicator: dissolved oxygen demand. This indicator was an accurate surrogate for assessing the health risk due to water pollution. However, it did not make it possible to locate the origin of pollution, did not distinguish between authorized and illegal discharges, and did not take into account the effects of pollution on fish and other animals. A more environmental framing to the problem of water quality was articulated by anglers who had been mobilizing since the beginning of the 20th century to denounce the depletion of fish stocks caused by accidental pollution. Their associations, which represented up to five million fishermen in the 1950s, demanded that these accidents be recognized as criminal offences and that pollution be measured in terms of its effects on the environment. Contrary to the Plan’s proposals for sanitary water-​q uality indicators, they called for regulatory policy solutions that could incriminate and prosecute polluters and not just tax them. But this moral and punitive approach to pollution was discarded by the Plan’s experts. When General de Gaulle went to meet anglers’ associations at the time of full powers to negotiate their support for his Fifth Republic project, they seized the opportunity to call for the control of accidental pollution. They obtained a ministerial decree (ordinance) making accidental pollution punishable by law. However, this political decision, taken quickly in January 1959, triggered a wave of panic among industrialists and elected municipal officials who were under the threat of being convicted in the event of a wastewater spill. The decree itself

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became a problem and in February 1959 the government asked the Commissariat Général au Plan to devise a more consensual alternative. A ‘water commission’ was created, with experts in economics, urban planning, and public health who became the legitimate owners of the water pollution problem. They validated the predefined framing of the problem as one of public health and promoted an economic policy instrument to solve it. They proposed a tax, the amount of which would increase according to the pollution estimated by the experts using indicators. It led to the creation, in 1964, of river-​ basin agencies that levy such taxes. Since then, these agencies have been responsible for measuring and acting on chronic pollution and assessing policy outcomes through a pollution inventory. Anglers did not choose to voice their dissatisfaction in the public space. They chose a more discreet strategy: the development of another indicator carrying another framing. Despite this prevailing public health problem framing, the anglers’ representatives worked with their supervisory administration (the High Council for Fisheries), which had a seat at the water commission, to develop a ‘biotic’ indicator complementary to the one based on dissolved oxygen that was so unfavourable to their cause. They developed this research around a new indicator under the radar of the Ministry of Agriculture’s research authorities, which were concentrated at INRA (the national institute for agronomic research), then dedicated to agricultural modernization. It was thus the High Council for Fisheries rather than the Ministry of Agriculture that recruited ecologists for this task. They developed a biotic index. Only when the biotic index got published did the angling supervisory administration voice its existence and potential use for the pollution inventory. The water commission acknowledged the authority of published science and agreed to include the biotic index in the list of statutory indicators that state services would regularly measure in all rivers. It became public data. This made a real difference in terms of pollution control and prosecution. Before its elaboration, when pollution occurred, people could only notice the accumulation of dead fish downstream but not trace them to the origin of the pollution. Indeed, fish circulate in a wide range of habitats and the presence of a dead species does not indicate the precise location of the pollution, making it difficult to identify the culprit. Anglers chose to focus on the invertebrate species striving on river gravels to remedy this problem. Invertebrates allow the identification of the pollution because they are very different upstream compared with downstream and their recolonization is slower once a pollution incident occurs. The biotic index provided a

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situation of reference before pollution. In case of pollution, weakened or dead invertebrates would drift away from their specific habitats and comparison with the situation of reference could account for the exact origin of the toxic spill. Hence, the biotic index made the environmental impacts of accidental pollution traceable and visible. Thanks to this new visibility, the water and forest administration succeeded in making this indicator mandatory in the decree setting out the technical provisions of the pollution inventory and thus provided anglers and water police officers with expert evidence for their legal actions against polluters, alongside the incentive action of the water agencies through their taxes. Before biotic information was published on a regular basis, people responsible for accidental pollutions would remain somehow invisible and therefore enjoy impunity. In case of litigation, environmentalists would bear the burden of proving the origin of pollution with their own means. The inclusion of this biotic indicator in a 1967 decree guaranteed public monitoring of aquatic microfauna. In short, two conceptions of water quality have opposed anglers and the Commissariat Général au Plan around different problem framings and policy solutions. The water commission initially favoured a health framing of the water-​quality problem and a policy solution based on economic incentive, that is, an eco-​tax. This linkage between a problem and a solution was done through a sanitary water-​quality indicator whose characteristic, among others, was that it could not identify the source of pollution and therefore was not conducive to a command-​ and-​control approach and policy solution. Indeed, we know that in contexts of a high level of uncertainty, regulatory policy solutions prove difficult to adopt (Bourblanc and Brives 2009). The water commission enjoyed a situation of legitimate ownership of the problem and solution and was able to impose an economic solution that tackled chronic pollution and ignored accidental pollution. This monopolistic space of dispute was nevertheless subject to external influences that used an alternative expert indicator to promote a different policy solution and their own definition of the water-​quality problem. Indeed, a minority expert in the commission decided not to attack the discursive framing of the problem or its solution, but to use his position within the water commission to complement the existing expert indicator with an additional one, the biotic indicator. Almost unannounced, this indicator ended up reconfiguring policy orientations and power relations on water-​quality issues. First, it would now allow the identification of potential polluters and therefore would open the range of policy solutions to regulatory instruments. Second, the

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data produced by this indicator made it possible to provide evidence in the judicial space of dispute, for the benefit of the minority angling coalition.

Aligning and misaligning streams through expert categories: the case of green macroalgal blooms in Brittany The case of green algae blooms on Breton beaches is a good illustration of how scientific indicators hold an unsuspected potential to help bind a problem definition and a policy solution together. Since the 1970s to 1980s, some beaches in Brittany have been notorious for being covered with green algae (Ulva armoricana species) for several months of the year. At first, this had been mainly considered a local problem. Indeed, the phenomenon had been mobilizing riparian and small local environmental associations from the 1980s; these mainly complained about the inconvenience of the unpleasant smells generated by the algae and the aesthetic disfigurement of the beaches. In 2008, the sudden death of two dogs and, one year later, the death of a horse followed by the near death of its rider, on the beach of St-​Michel-​en-​Grève (Brittany, France), triggered a crisis that was suddenly resonating at the national level. In view of the potential new health hazards linked with macroalgal bloom decomposition on beaches, the French Prime Minister with several other ministers decided to pay a visit to the green algae sites and a national plan to combat coastal eutrophication was launched in 2010 (Plan de lutte contre les algues vertes). It was accompanied by the commissioning of a new expert reporting on the phenomenon to help guide public action. This triggered an unprecedented scientific controversy around the identification of a relevant indicator in a bid to tackle the phenomenon. A large coalition of scientists, some of them perceived to be close to environmental non-​governmental organizations (NGOs), defended the nitrates indicator, while the opposing camp, also using seemingly scientific arguments and backed by agricultural interest groups, promoted the phosphorous indicator. This controversy is no surprise because intensive agriculture is a major contributor to the emission of nitrates in water while it shares the responsibility of phosphorous emissions with municipalities and their sometimes outdated wastewater treatment plants. Hence, privileging the nitrates indicator is not politically neutral; it targets the intensive agriculture sector in particular, which emits a lot of nitrogen surpluses. Although the 2008 controversy episode was particularly acute, such controversy was not new. Indeed, the scientific expertise around the proliferation

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of green algae on the Breton coast has been difficult to stabilize and legitimize since the 1980s. The first attempts at designating nitrates as a decisive element in green macroalgal blooms’ proliferation were met with considerable reluctance. This did not sit well with the public agenda setting of the time, which was more concerned with water pollution arising from phosphates (phosphorous) in detergent products. Indeed, in Europe, environmental interest groups had been lobbying for the banning of phosphates in detergent products since the 1980s. More precisely, environmental NGOs with scientists on board were very much involved in fighting pollution in Lake Geneva, a lake on the north side of the Alps shared between Switzerland and France. Eutrophication was a major issue that had wiped out most of the fish populations in the lake. Environmental NGOs obtained a first victory in 1986 with the banning of phosphates from detergent products in Switzerland while the French government signed, in the early 1990s, an agreement with the detergent industry to limit phosphates to a maximum of 20 per cent in their products. NGOs also succeeded in forcing municipal authorities in France to use better water treatment technology before releasing wastewater into watercourses. Thus, the idea of trying to convince the public authorities to act on nitrates too was not well received as it was perceived to blur the message around the fight against eutrophication and to introduce complexity in the treatment of the phenomenon: depending on the natural milieu –​coastal waters or lake waters –​ecological factors provoking eutrophication might differ. In other words, the scientific indicator around nitrates did not align with the political and media agenda at the time, which was focused almost exclusively on the issue of phosphorous. Despite such misalignment between the expert category and the problem and political streams, the nitrates indicator progressively gained political support locally and a scientific consensus around the nitrate thesis started stabilizing from the mid-​1990s onwards. This was made possible thanks to the rolling out of modelling programmes around macroalgal proliferation that arguably were biased towards the nitrate thesis. It also helped that in the mid-​1990s, the issue still remained rather low-​key, and very localized. Because it was not yet featuring on the national agenda, no ambitious public programmes imposing constraining policy solutions to tackle the problem could be adopted. Indeed, the local scope of the issue mobilized departmental and regional government levels that had no authority to impose stringent policy solutions to the intensive agricultural sector. Together with water-​ managing actors such as water boards and local water commissions,

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they were trying to enrol as many farmers as possible in their voluntary public programmes (Programme ProLittoral-​Bretagne Eau Pure), which offered incentive measures. The renewed scientific controversy that erupted in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis has to be understood against such backdrop, that is, a problem with a newly national scope and with potentially new far-​reaching policy measures. When the nitrates indicator was only being used among local managing circles, it seemed to be tolerated but it eventually succumbed to adversity when circulating within the upper echelons in new administrative and regulatory arenas. This renewed scientific controversy allows us to shed light on another important aspect of public action relying on scientific expertise, that is, the challenges of working with expert categories that do not align with the frames emanating from all three streams of the policy process (problem, policy, and politics). At first sight, the nitrates indicator proposed to guide national public action, which seemed to be in a better position than in the 1980s at the local level: indeed, the ecological indicator proposed was well aligned with another major problem, already at the national public agenda for the past 20 years, that is, nitrates’ pollution of drinking water. For that matter, the nitrates indicator was also a well-​known category for policy makers within the Ministry of Agriculture ministry. Yet, it did not align at all with the political stream, for which it was considered politically unacceptable because of the costs incurred for major actors of the policy subsystem, that is, the majoritarian farmers’ union. Indeed, when this local coastal water issue met with the inland water pollution issue around nitrates in the mid-​2000s (Bourblanc 2019), suddenly the stakes became much higher for the representatives of intensive agriculture directly implicated as policy solutions envisaged radically changed in nature. Preliminary modelling exercises around the nitrates indicator have anticipated that to obtain a significant decrease in macroalgal blooms’ proliferation, the nitrates level would have to dramatically drop to a level that only small-​scale farming can meet (10 NO3 mg/​l). The majoritarian farmers’ union was vehemently opposed to further regulation on the nitrates level in watercourses, as such regulation was perceived to have potentially devastating economic consequences for their production model, almost condemning intensive farming in some river basins. The majoritarian farmers’ union intensely lobbied local and national politicians, ministers, and representatives of the state at the regional level (regional prefect). Refusing to admit the nitrates thesis, they started boycotting negotiation meetings with public authorities

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until further clarity could be given on what they labelled a scientific controversy around the relevant indicator to retain. To avoid public action paralysis, public authorities ordered new expert reporting against the advice of a large coalition of scientists claiming the existence of a scientific consensus around the nitrates indicator despite the farmers’ union’s allegations. The new expert report published in 2012 (Chevassus-​au-​Louis et al 2012) settled the controversy by reframing the scientific debate: in a bid to escape the stalemate, the latest expert reporting promoted new expert categories in a bid to be able to identify alternative indicators. In particular, the concept of ‘control factor’ replaced the concept of ‘limiting factor’, opening up the possibility of targeting elements other than nitrates, depending on the local ecological context. Later on, this new expert category would allow a reorientation of public policy towards more accommodating solutions for intensive agriculture. Indeed, the new scientific framing enabled public authorities to focus on a different policy target and solution: for more than 15 years, public policies dealing with pollution from agriculture had strived to tackle the problem of the pollution of water resources by reducing nitrates/​nitrogen production, hence a herd’s size and ultimately the intensive nature of agriculture. After settling the scientific controversy, public authorities and scientists started focusing on reducing nitrogen ‘leakage’, in pedo-​climatic conditions of particular sites that are vulnerable to the pollution of water resources, instead of focusing on the intensive nature of agriculture activities per se.

Binding without cementing: shortcomings of the dead-​wood indicator in French forests Until the end of the 1980s, forest policies and their instruments were defined by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, in partnership with the representatives of the forest stakeholders, that is, forest owners’ unions and forest industries. As the genuine and unique definers of forest policies, they framed forest issues around the general idea of a shortage of wood and conifers, in particular, for a growing forest sector (paper, timber) after the Second World War. To bind this problem with a solution, both policy makers and the representatives of forest industries established a simple causal chain: the less productive broadleaf forests should be substituted with even-​age and monospecific conifer stands and the forestry techniques should be modernized by actively developing mechanization, fertilization, genetic selection, the use of pesticides, and so on. A policy to entice forest owners to plant

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conifers and to adopt these modern silvicultural techniques was then enacted in 1947 through the National Forest Funds. The national forest inventory (IFN) created a set of indicators focusing on the productive dimensions of the policy only (tree species, surface, forest structure, and wood volume) in order to assess the efficiency of this policy on the ground. At that time, we could see an alignment of the politics, problem, and policy streams around an intensive and modernist framing, which translated into a policy solution incentivizing forest owners to plant as many as 2.2 million hectares’ worth of new forests between 1947 and 1991. Forestry issues started being perceived through a different frame at the end of the 1970s. Some environmental NGOs challenged the productivist orientation of the French forest policy (Cauwet et al 1976; Balabanian 1980; Moriniaux 1999), in particular afforestation with conifers and the use of fertilizers and chemicals, clear cutting, and so on. They strived to put new issues on the public agenda, requesting more consideration for ecological issues such as species and habitat conservation. In this attempt, they largely relied on the emergence of the concept of ‘biodiversity’ in 1986 in the scientific community (Takacs 2001). With this biodiversity motto, environmental NGOs found both a new flagship for their claims and new allies within the scientific community to try to redefine forest policies in France. While the French Ministry of Agriculture and professional forest organizations disregarded environmental claims and carried on focusing mainly on the productive dimension of forestry, this alternative network of NGOs coalesced with the Ministry of the Environment to take emerging issues such as biodiversity conservation more seriously. Owing to the mobilization of influential advocates such as national and international environmental NGOs –​the World Wide Fund (WWF), the Ligue de Protection des Oiseaux (LPO) (French society for the protection of birds), and French Nature Environnement (FNE) (Chartier and Ollitrault 2005; Berny 2018) –​ and the support of Green Party politicians, the French government eventually agreed on ratifying the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 1992. Around the same time, a conferences cycle –​the Pan-​European Ministerial Conferences on the Protection of Forests in Europe (MCPFE) –​was initiated by the ministries in charge of forestry to define a common forest strategy at a European level. On the initiative of France and Finland, the first MCPFE in Strasbourg in 1990 promoted the concept of ‘sustainable management of forests in Europe (Resolution H1)’ and suggested improving forest monitoring by developing common tools to assess wood stocks, surface, species, and so on. In the wake of the CDB, the

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parties of the second conference (in Helsinki in 1993), in particular under the influence of the Scandinavian countries, enacted a General Guideline for the Conservation of the Biodiversity (Resolution H2). Hence, the ratification of the CDB and the MCPFE resolutions was a strong signal in favour of biodiversity conservation and monitoring but the constraining dimension of these soft laws was rather weak. In other words, if forestry problem definition was gradually aligning with new political forest orientations towards more sustainability, regulatory policy measures were still missing. Against that backdrop, the adoption of a new set of 35 indicators including, among others, biodiversity aspects during the Lisbon conference (Annex 1 of Resolution L2) in 1998 and confirmed in Vienna (Resolution V4) in 2003 was instrumental in realigning diverse policy problem framing with more stringent policy solutions preserving such biodiversity. While the national forest policy arenas were under the monopolistic control of the Ministry of Agriculture and forest professionals’ lobbies, the MCPFE conferences were opened up to other policy ownership coalitions including the Ministry of the Environment and international environmental NGOs such as WWF, Greenpeace, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) (Barthod 2012). By opening up the spaces of disputes to new parties, problem definitions and policy solutions could be significantly reframed. The head of French forest services in the Ministry of Agriculture gradually admitted that forest issues could not be defined at a national level only or with one’s own socioeconomic forest stakeholders group only and that they needed to be opened up more to scientific and public debates (Bouleau 2016). If they wanted to stay involved and continue to shape the definition of policy problems and solutions, they needed to develop a more ecosystemic approach and new monitoring tools. The elaboration of such new eco-​friendly indicators conceded by the dominant forest policy coalition was the opportunity that a coalition of scientific and environmentalist actors seized to elevate deadwood as a key indicator of biodiversity. This was not an easy task, but rather a tour de force. Indeed, this coalition succeeded in transforming an old-​ fashioned, useless, and inadequate index into a referential indicator as deadwood is presently one of the two indicators out of 35 that has been selected to assess biodiversity for forests ecosystems by the French national office for biodiversity. The Ministry of Agriculture decided to actively contribute to the definition and implementation of this new set of indicators for strategic reasons. If it wanted to remain the owner of the problem and the solution definer, it was crucial to participate and possibly

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control the elaboration of the new indicator. Moreover, its initial set of indicators mainly focused on the productive dimensions of forestry and, consequently, France performed poorly in benchmarking with the other 21 European countries. In particular, it ranked last on deadwood, with only 1–​2m3 of deadwood per hectare. Considering the new political objectives towards biodiversity conservation that French authorities adhered to, this ranking was seen to be very problematic in front of their European counterparts. In order to improve this indicator, the Ministry of Agriculture in charge of forests initiated an expert committee in 2007 under the supervision of the IFN with a clear mandate: to create a new indicator that would more favourably report on the actual level of deadwood in French forests. In line with the proceedings of the two first symposiums specifically dedicated to deadwood in North America (in Reno, Nevada; Laudenslayer et al 1999) and in Europe (in Umeå in Sweden in 1999; Jonsson and Kruys 2001), French scientists who participated to the expert committee underlined the role of deadwood as a habitat for a large proportion of forest insects and fungi (so-​called ‘saproxylic biodiversity’), a factor in soil fertility due to humus production, and even a key element in restoring forest resilience (Vallauri 2000). But their discourses were inaudible to traditional forest policy makers. For forest stakeholders as for forest policy makers, deadwood was a shelter for pests and pathogens, a source of contamination, a fire starter for forest blazes, and a waste that is indicative of poor and inefficient management. However, discussions at the MCPFE conferences, and later in the national expert committee, significantly reframed the social meaning of deadwood, not as a problem but as part of the solution for both parties. By including new categories of deadwood (stumps, branches more than 7.5cm, decaying wood, lying and standing dead trees, and so on) and improving its monitoring, the new deadwood indicator soared from 1–​2m3/​ha to 23m3/​ha without any significant changes in forest management. Finally, it turned out to be a perfect indicator of carbon stock from the point of view of timber production promoters and a good surrogate for biodiversity richness for environmentalists. Eventually, if a coalition of scientists, environmental NGOs, and representatives of the Ministry of the Environment managed to present to the Ministry of Agriculture the deadwood indicator as a key element of forest biodiversity, this can only be considered as a half-​victory. The mobilization of metanorms and master frames such as the CDB and transnational agreements such as the MCPFEs greatly contributed to their success, especially as few counter-​arguments were developed at the same global political level by forest authorities. Yet, an important

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battle was lost at the technical policy level. Largely opposed to the conservation of deadwood (which they consider tricky to manage), forest and landowners’ unions mobilized and invested in arenas where there would be better-​defined practices on the ground and discussed the implementation of deadwood thresholds, that is, an optimal volume of deadwood to be conserved for the good functioning of the ecosystem. Thanks to an intensive lobbying in the national, regional, and even local arenas where thresholds were defined, private and public forest representatives finally succeeded in limiting the number of deadwood trees to one or two trees per category (lying/​standing) without any specific volume in official recommendations, guidelines, and directives about biodiversity conservation. The metric used to revise the deadwood indicator therefore managed to neutralize change at the policy level, enabling the forestry sector to continue its ‘business as usual’. In the absence of a favourable metric, the deadwood indicator could not reach its lock-​in potential, and no cementing effect occurred between the problem definition and the initial policy solution envisaged around better biodiverse forest policy.

Discussion To be sanctioned, actors promoting specific ecological indicators need to align their expert category with categories emanating from multiple streams. In that respect, the green algae blooms case study is interesting because it illustrates that an alignment with the category circulating within the problem stream alone was insufficient to retain policy makers’ attention. Because it could not fit with framings coming from the political stream, and especially because it was perceived to be not compatible with potential solutions envisaged within the policy stream, the nitrates indicator was vigorously challenged. A scientific controversy thus re-​emerged and new expert categories had to be built in order to escape the stalemate and public action paralysis. This point demonstrates that despite their relation to nature, ecological indicators partly represent political constructs. They are seldom pre-​established categories but hybrid categories that have to be adjusted according to different influences. In actuality, they represent a way to divert political competition to impose specific policy solutions within more discrete settings. This is the case because indicators embody a specific way of seeing the world and of perceiving policy problems that ultimately favour particular policy solutions. As for the biotic indicator, the case study shows that power balance was clearly unfavourable to the environmental framing of the problem

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and of its command-​and-​control solution (penalizing offenders), yet the indicator managed to overturn this power equilibrium. Indeed, the water commission first ignored the environmentalist problem framing that anglers raised on the public agenda, and their demand for a regulatory solution to water pollution. The way that anglers used to reintroduce this problem and solution framing was to rely on expert indicators, although the biotic indicator was supposed to be used to report on the outcomes of a public health problem favouring taxes as policy solutions. Eventually, the biotic indicator discreetly reconfigured policy orientations on water quality. Two cases (the deadwood indicator and macroalgal blooms) illustrate the importance of the issue of scales in the alignment process across streams. In the macroalgal bloom case, the problem moved up government levels with the health reframing of the issue. This up-​scaling was a determining factor in the sense that it changed the potential solutions that could be adopted, that is to say, solutions favouring a less intensive agriculture as the preferred policy remedy to the eutrophication problem. If the nitrates indicator managed to impose itself for a few years within management circles at the local level, scientific controversy was now reinstated with a potential health risk at stake: all the political work around expert indicators (enrolment of supports, alignment of multiple streams, and so on) had to be built again. After having presented how analysing the alignment of multiple streams across scales better predicts the fate of indicator imposition, we would now like to demonstrate how expert indicators powerfully bind together policy problems and policy solutions once adopted. To evoke such compelling effects, let us first mention the question of visibility. The visibility aspect we refer to here relates to what Gould (1993) calls a ‘secondary visibility’. ‘Primary visibility’ involves a direct relationship with surrounding natural objects and systems since it reflects the ‘extent to which a particular environmental problem is readily detectable through first hand observation of the phenomenon’ (Gould 1993, p 158). An example of primary visibility would be, for instance, the shift from nitrates pollution to eutrophication pollution in the case of the struggle against intensive agriculture in Brittany, as unlike nitrates in fresh water, green algae are directly visible and therefore can help mobilize people more easily around the cause. ‘Secondary visibility’ stresses a more social and indirect visibility, often mediated through knowledge mobilization. As Gould (1993, p 158) states: ‘Increased access to certain information makes an environmental problem more socially visible, in a secondary sense, by allowing people to recognize

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either the existence or impacts of particular environmental threats.’ However, Gould (1993, p 159) notes that: ‘Despite the fact that social visibility of pollution does increase the level of local awareness of the existence of environmental degradation, this awareness does not necessarily translate into organized local political mobilization.’ We agree with most environmental sociologists that environmental problems do not automatically make it to the political agenda, yet, for us, such visibility is far from insignificant. We argue that secondary visibility in particular is an important characteristic not only for agenda-​ setting prospects but also for influencing policy solution design. Indeed, environmental issues are complex issues wherein social and natural elements are fundamentally intertwined. Against such a backdrop, ecological indicators have a pragmatic objective: they help circumscribe environmental complexities, creating easy-​to-​monitor benchmarks that can direct public policies (Kimmins 1990; Dale and Beyeler 2001; Turnhout et al 2007). The experts in charge of designing indicators rely on a categorization process. It is well known that such a categorization process excludes a number of phenomena that will go unnoticed in the reality constructed by the indicators. We have shown, for instance, that had not the biotic index been introduced in the 1967 decree, the environmental effects of accidental pollution would have been excluded from monitoring and, as a consequence, control instruments would have been much less effective. This is because oxygen demand is a category of pollution that does not distinguish between authorized and illegal pollution. By measuring pollution using this oxygen demand indicator, experts construct a reality in which responsibilities are masked. As a result, ecological indicators constitute powerful framing tools for both problems and policy solutions. They somehow constitute environmental realities by making some of them visible while casting a shadow on other environmental aspects just by leaving them outside their spectrum. Second, we can mention institutional lock-​in effects. Indeed, like policy instruments, ecological indicators can create institutional lock-​in effects. Such lock-​in effects can occur for several reasons, one of them being because the indicators chosen to report on policy are financed by public funds. As use progresses, the chosen indicators are increasingly fed with data. Actors who consider that these indicators do them no justice have to bear the burden of proof to show another reality, that is, construct a more suited indicator but also provide relevant data that can challenge the already existing ones. Conversely, actors who benefit from the framing provided by the indicators enjoy publicly produced data. Hence, once expert categories are informed with such knowledge

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and data, they become more difficult to undo. Furthermore, their distributive effects increase with time. Finally, the deadwood indicator illustrates the fact that to really secure the binding of a problem and of a policy solution together through an ecological indicator, one has to invest in the metrics system. Indeed, the binding process occurs through securing the indicator with data that will eventually cement the preferred policy solution and orientation. We have seen in the case study that after betting on the wrong indicator candidate, the policy ownership coalition around the deadwood indicator did not succeed in promoting a more ambitious policy solution around forest biodiversity, despite a conducive political framing and the decision to go ahead with a seemingly favourable indicator. This is because the pro-​biodiversity coalition did not sufficiently invest in the decisive step of fine-​tuning the indicator with the relevant data. This demonstrates the role of uncertainty around environmental indicators and the undetermined process, which may produce surprising associations and prevent matters from moving in the preferred policy direction. Like any policy instrument, expert indicators have effects of their own, which are sometimes difficult to anticipate.

Conclusion Our objective in this chapter was to study expert reporting as a type of political work that can powerfully link public problems with policy solutions. Rather than taking expert reporting as discursive arguments only, we also wanted to focus on the technical and material dimensions of expert reporting and on its framing of material reality, namely in our case, expert categories (ecological indicators in particular). More precisely, we first showed the political work taking place around ecological indicators, which are far from a neutral representation of the natural world. They are hybrid expert categories that indicators’ promotors tweak to adjust to various influences. Against that backdrop, we demonstrated how a dephasing of the multiple streams is an impediment in the quest of indicators’ promoters to institutionalize their specific expert category and how much these promoters strive to remedy such misalignment, sometimes using data to produce different framings and categorizations. Second, we focused on how indicators can produce effects of their own. Other researchers have also considered instruments’ role in the construction of policy problems and solutions (see Crespin 2009 in particular) but relate this role to the capacity of instruments through their use to naturalize the problem definition, implicitly referring

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to the perceived proximity of indicators to scientific matters. In the cases we selected, however, science is often disputed and scientific authority cannot account for indicators’ compelling effects on the policy-​making process. We rather argue that indicators produce visibility and institutional effects. The visibility effect relates to how indicators can frame a political debate by shaping and embodying specific environmental realities. The institutional effect relates to a path dependence linked to the cost of producing and feeding such indicators. In that sense, these indicators act as policy instruments: they implicitly carry a specific framing of the problem and of its desired solution; they lock in such a policy solution through an accumulation of data. References Aykut, S.C. and Dahan, A. (2015) Gouverner le climat? 20 ans de négociations internationales, Paris: Presses de Sciences Po. Balabanian, O. (1980) ‘La forêt source de conflits dans la montagne limousine’, Revue Forestière Française, 32: 255–​62. Barthod, C. (2012) ‘Aux origines des indicateurs de gestion durables des forêts’, Revue Forestière Française, 54(5): 551–​60. Berny, N. (2018) ‘Institutionalisation and distinctive competences of environmental NGOs: the expansion of French organisations’, Environmental Politics, 27(6): 1033–​56. Bouleau, G. (2016) ‘Point de vue d’un acteur français sur la controverse des pluies acides (1983-​1991)’, VertigO -​la revue électronique en sciences de l’environnement, 16(2). Bourblanc, M. (2019) ‘Expert assessment as a framing exercise: the controversy over green macroalgal blooms’ proliferation in France’, Science & Public Policy, 46(2): 264–​74. Bourblanc, M. and Brives, H. (2009) ‘La construction du caractère “diffus” des pollutions agricoles’, Etudes Rurales, 183(1): 161–​76. Cauwet, J., Demesse, N., Fischer, R. and Persuy, A. (1976) France, ta forêt fout le camp!, Paris: Stock. Chartier, D. and Ollitrault, S. (2005) ‘Les ONG d’environnement dans un système international en mutation: des objets non identifiés?’, in C. Aubertin (ed) Représenter la nature? ONG et biodiversité, Paris: IRD Éditions, pp 21–​59. Chevassus-​au-​Louis, B., Andral, B., Femenias, A. and Bouvier, M. (2012) ‘Bilan des connaissances scientifiques sur les causes des prolifération de macroalgues vertes: Application à la situation de la Bretagne et propositions’, Rapport d’expertise aux Ministres de l’Ecologie et de l’agriculture, Paris, p 147, available at: www.vie-p​ ublique.fr/s​ ites/​ default/​files/​rapport/​pdf/​124000253.pdf

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Crespin, R. (2009) ‘Quand l’instrument définit les problèmes: le cas du dépistage des drogues dans l’emploi aux Etats-​Unis’, in C. Gilbert and E. Henry (eds) Comment se construisent les problèmes de santé publique?, Paris: La Découverte, pp 213–​36. Dale, V.H. and Beyeler, S.C. (2001) ‘Challenges in the development and use of ecological indicators’, Ecological Indicators, 1(1): 3–​10. Fischer, F. (2000) Citizens, experts and the environment: The politics of local knowledge, Durham and London: Duke University Press. Forsyth, T. (2003) Critical political ecology: The politics of environmental science, London: Routledge. Gingras, Y. (ed) (2014) Controverses: Accords et désaccords en sciences humaines et sociales, Paris: CNRS. Gould, K.A. (1993) ‘Pollution and perception: social visibility and local environmental mobilization’, Qualitative Sociology, 16(2): 157–​78. Guillaumat, H., Krier, M., Bernard, J., Petit, E.C., Demonque, M., Estrangin, L., Fourasquie, J. and Jouvenel, B.D. (1962) Réflexions pour 1985, Paris: Commissariat Général au Plan. Jonsson, B.G. and Kruys, N. (2001) ‘Ecology of woody debris in boreal forests’, Ecological Bulletins, 49: 1–​280. Jordan, A. and Greenaway, J. (1998) ‘Shifting agendas, changing regulatory structures and the “new” politics of environmental pollution: British coastal water policy, 1955–​1 995’, Public Administration, 76(4): 669–​94. Kimmins, J.P. (1990) ‘Monitoring the condition of the Canadian forest environment: the relevance of the concept of “ecological indicators” ’, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 15(3): 231–​40. Lascoumes, P. and Le Galès, P. (eds) (2005) Gouverner par les instruments, Paris: Presses de Sciences Po. Laudenslayer, W.F.J., Shea, P.J., Valentine, B.E., Weatherspoon, C.P. and Lisle, T.E. (1999) Proceedings of the symposium on the ecology and management of dead wood in western forests, USDA forest service, general technical report PSW-​GTR-​181, Reno, Nevada, 2–​4 November, pp 1–​949. Miller, C.A. (2004) ‘Climate science and the making of a global political order’, in S. Jasanoff (ed) States of knowledge: The co-​production of science and social order, London and New York: Routledge, pp 46–​66. Moriniaux, V. (1999) ‘Les français face à l’enrésinement, XVIe-​XXe siècles’, Annales de Géographie, 609–​610: 660–​63. Takacs, D. (2001) ‘Historical awareness of biodiversity’, in S. Levin (ed) Encyclopedia of biodiversity, Cambridge: Academic Press, pp 363–​9.

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Turnhout, E., Hisschemöller, M. and Eijsackers, H. (2007) ‘Ecological indicators: between the two fires of science and policy’, Ecological Indicators, 7(2): 215–​28. Vallauri, D. (2000) Si la forêt s’écroule: Quels fondements pour la gestion forestière française après les tempêtes?, Paris: WWF France.

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Coalitions and Values in the Flow of Policy Solutions Nikolaos Zahariadis

Why do some solutions become serious policy contenders while others simply fade away? Utilizing the Multiple Streams Framework (MSF), in this chapter I unpack the concept of ‘value acceptability’ and explore the politics of what Kingdon (1995) calls the ‘process of alternative specification’. I focus on and reconceptualize value acceptability –​defined as congruence around principles or qualities of collective action with intrinsic importance –​as building discursive coalitions (Hajer 1993). Each solution is supported by a coalition of actors built around a relative convergence of preferences, values, and frames. Policy values are differentiated from political values (Stewart 2009, p 14). The latter underpin the design of governments and change slowly, if any, for example freedom or equality, while the former permeate specific governance measures and may change frequently, such as zero-​tolerance policy as a form of being tough on crime. Frames are highlighted selections of aspects of perceived experience to create meaning and structure social reality (Entman 1993). Hence, the crafting of solutions not only creates meaning ‘in action’ but also brings together disparate actors in a single ‘package’ replete with interpretations of the past, expediencies of the present, and estimates of the future. I examine how that process works and argue that four factors make solutions likely contenders for serious consideration and final adoption: side payments, institutional rule manipulation, short time horizons, and advocacy/​framing. Political coalitions are forged around each solution by policy entrepreneurs, who mainly (but not

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exclusively) take part in the process through argumentation, partly the result of political conflict and partly the consequence of discursive meaning contestation. The argument informs MSA by adding a dynamic element to the process of generating policy solutions (ideas or alternatives; I use the terms interchangeably), but it also goes beyond it by adding elements of pragmatic constructivism. It stresses the importance of agency and context in policy formulation. Policy actors deliberate over ideas to craft solutions in particular contexts. Meaning and symbols are integral parts of the process, transmitted through language and argumentation (Fischer 2003). Solutions contain politically constructed packages of meaning, preferences, and consequences through shared but often ambiguous contemporaneous understandings of political assumptions. Policy entrepreneurs play a key role in putting the packages together by constructing or shaping preferences. Not every member of the coalition fully agrees, but every member finds enough appealing elements in the solution to own it. Such contests over meaning also reveal struggles over political power, which are shaped not only by position and material incentives in institutionalized environments but also by language and argumentation in the various fora of alternative specification. Building coalitions involves the exercise of political power in three interrelated ways: through sheer coercion (the traditional form of power); by manipulating institutions (institutional power); or by (de) and (re)constructing reality (ideational power) (Lukes 2005). A key dynamic is argumentation that helps link the three forms of power. To the extent that all solutions interpret the past and estimate the future and make this into an argument through discursive affinity (Hajer 1993), the crafting of solutions and solution ownership signify political attempts to control the past, present, and future by constantly (re)constructing an ambiguous reality. It is important to state at the outset that I am looking only at pre-​ decision processes –​the search for solutions –​and not the actual decision itself. Moreover, I follow MSA’s conceptualization and restrict the analysis to the policy stream at the subsystemic (policy network) level. The policy stream contains ideas continuously debated by specialists who are informed and interested in the sector, for example, telecommunications labour unions, bureaucrats in the telecommunications ministry, regulators, business firms operating in this sector, and others. They constitute what Kingdon (1995) labels ‘hidden participants’. I first examine what we know about the stream of solutions (policy stream) to situate my argument within that context. I then generate hypotheses and use examples from different sectors

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across countries to illustrate the points. The chapter concludes with implications for MSA and the broader literature of policy formulation and the construction of solutions.

What do we know about the flow of solutions? Imagine a mixture of points of view, interpretations, and thoughts flowing dynamically through an organization, a school, or a government agency. This mixture constitutes what MSA calls ‘the primeval soup of ideas’ (Kingdon 1995). These ideas constitute solutions or refined answers to past, present, or future problems, which are crafted within the policy stream. The ideas constitute the elements of the stream while its banks are institutionally bounded by policy networks (Zahariadis 2003). Ideas are constantly articulated, debated, amended, refined, combined, or rejected within the stream. Because of this constant flow, the links between problems and solutions are tenuous. MSA conceptualizes the streams of solutions and problems as separate and distinct. Each has its own rules and dynamic. This means that solutions are initially produced as answers to specific problems. But constant debate and argumentation may refine ideas to the point when they are called on to solve very different problems than the ones originally intended (Zahariadis 2003). For example, the sale of state assets was originally conceived in the developed world as the answer to public-​sector borrowing limitations. Governments had simply run out of money and saw such sales as important ways to fill public coffers. However, privatization later became the answer to different sets of problems, including the lack of entrepreneurial culture, company profitability, and regulatory reform. In other words, problems seek out solutions as much as policies may be looking for problems to solve. But solutions do not exist on their own: they are someone’s product (Cohen et al 1972, p 3). They are constructed within spaces of contestation and debate, which MSA calls ‘policy networks’.1 Networks consist of interacting actors interested in a particular set of issues, who generate, debate, reject, or combine ideas to craft new solutions. They exist at the subsystemic level among the informed public. By informed public I mean actors who are actively involved in the field, such as telecommunications employees, companies, academics, regulators, or think tanks. They are interested in and informed on developments in this sector as opposed to ordinary voters or many politicians whose business or interests are tangential.

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Why do some ideas rise to the top of the stream, meaning they reach the pinnacle of the government’s decision agenda and therefore receive serious consideration, while others simply fade away? MSA proposes four criteria affecting the flow of solutions in the stream: technical feasibility, budgetary implications, the degree of integration of the policy network, and value acceptability. Technical feasibility refers narrowly to ease of implementation. Every policy should be implemented after enaction. The fewer the implementation difficulties, the wider the appeal of the policy and the more serious its consideration will be among contenders. For example, solutions calling for the acquisition of brand-​new technology and the creation of a new government agency to distribute support to low-​ income families have less appeal than similarly aiming solutions that call for funds to be distributed to existing agencies. The reason is simply that administrative capacity and expertise already exist, minimizing potential implementation issues. Solutions that demand more resources will likely generate less enthusiasm than solutions that address the same problem with minimal resources. Adverse budgetary effects will always temper enthusiasm for any solution. Less integrated networks encourage a meteoric rise of solutions to the top because they are less institutionalized and therefore more porous to outsiders and prone to innovation disruptions. For example, a solution inimical to labour interests in a policy network that requires consultation with labour unions is likely to generate greater resistance and will have a harder time gaining political traction in some quarters. Conversely, the same solution in a policy network where labour unions can be bypassed is likely to fall on more receptive ears. The last criterion is value acceptability, essentially referring to the idea that solutions are rarely proposed and summarily rejected or accepted. Rather, they contain, implicitly or explicitly, principled goals or policy values that are continuously debated. For example, longer or mandatory sentences for specific criminal infractions imply the value of being tough on crime. Serious consideration of a solution to drug problems, such as the prosecution and imprisonment of offenders, reflects more tough-​mindedness than an alternative, such as the decriminalization of certain drugs, rehabilitation, or education. Both options may be debated, but one may be more congruent with the values of a given policy network than the other. Solutions that are more congruent with prevailing policy values among actors in the network are more likely to receive serious consideration than others. They take time to ‘soften up’ through debate, persuasion, or threats. Solutions that appeal to a

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wider number of actors in the policy network are more likely to be serious contenders for policy adoption than more controversial and less widely supported solutions. It is important to note that there is no logic of ‘majority wins’ in policy networks. It is neither necessary nor sufficient for the members of the policy network to agree. The process is infrequently institutionalized. There are no votes and network actors are not the ones deciding; policy makers are. But some kind of acceptance among members of the network goes a long way towards legitimizing the importance of and likely degree of resistance to the solution. Alternatives that are less widely accepted will likely encounter stiffer resistance and generate greater political conflict, dampening their appeal in the pre-​decision stage. As currently articulated, the concept of ‘value acceptability’ suffers from three major drawbacks. First, MSA does not tell us how actors come to accept a particular solution or not. Do they use particular strategies or does value acceptability just happen (or not)? Kingdon (1995, p 139) talks about a bandwagon effect, but how does that process work? Does institutionalized space make a difference? Second, there is a certain element of fixity to the concept of ‘values’. If value acceptability is politically determined, how does the process work? Do values change with the coalitions or do solutions contain values that are fixed to them? Third, solutions have consequences, which actors estimate. Hence, acceptance depends on what the estimate is. In turn, estimates imbue meaning and political contestation into the process. But how? MSA mentions debates, but it does not specify the logic of argumentation. The process of value acceptability is not value-​neutral. It is purposeful and political.

Unpacking the concept of ‘value acceptability’ MSA uses the criterion of value acceptability as an important dimension of solution salience, which Koop (2011, p 210) defines as ‘the degree of importance which is attributed to political matters’. I adapt this definition to refer to the likelihood that a particular solution will receive serious consideration for adoption. The more actors coalesce around a particular solution in a policy network, the greater the likelihood will be for that solution’s appeal to spill over to the broader political arena. But what MSA does not do is explain how value acceptability comes about. Kingdon (1995, p 127) argues that it contains a drawn-​out gradual trajectory –​he calls it a ‘softening up’ –​but he does not specify its dynamics.2 He notes that there are contestations over efficiency and resources, but there is a structural, almost automatic element to his

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answer. In other words, it lacks human agency. Someone is pushing for these so-​called ‘pet projects’. What we need to know is what makes some solutions more appealing than others to the members of the policy network. I propose to unpack the concept of ‘value acceptability’ by reconceptualizing it as discursive coalition building in the policy network. The process goes beyond Kingdon’s (1995, p 141) emphasis on persuasion and diffusion and delves into the notions of argumentation and political power. Despite some similarities, for example, all coalitions involve manifestations of the exercise of political power –​my concern is different from building coalitions in the broader political arena. I stay within the confines of the policy network at the subsystemic level, which involves informed actors, refers to the pre-​decision stage, and is more fluid than coalitions at the decision-​making stage because there are no votes or formal bargaining and only anticipation of possible material and other consequences. For example, I am interested in identifying dynamic trajectories of solutions within the telecommunications community over regulatory policy or sounding out cap-​and-​trade arguments within the environmental community and not the broader policy arena that obviously includes a myriad of other actors uninformed or disinterested in telecommunications or environmental policy. There is more than persuasion here; ideational power in the specification of alternatives involves argumentation, which also contains framing and advocacy. There are also other forms of political power exercized through rule manipulation, for example. Whose values does the solution need to be acceptable to? The number of actors and contours of policy networks may change over time and across national environments through political expediency. More than persuasion and diffusion, the process of building discursive coalitions involves some form of politics. MSA conceptually confines the search for solutions within the policy network. The implication is that coalitions built around particular solutions tend to involve members of that network, which include labour, management, think tanks, civil servants, and academics interested in the set of relevant issues, for example telecommunications, health, the environment, and so on. I use the term ‘policy network’ generically to denote a continuum of configurations, from an issue network, which involves actors temporarily coalescing around a single issue, to a policy community, which involves a more permanent set of actors grouped around a range of related issues. Issue networks tend to be more unstable and fluid; their composition changes by issue and the pattern of interaction among actors tends to be characterized

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by intense rivalry (Zahariadis and Allen 1995). Policy communities tend to be more stable; actor numbers are fixed and interaction among members is institutionalized. Ideas tend to be worked out over long periods of time, with the aim to broaden support and accommodate disagreements. Within these configurations, what factors make the congruence of values more likely? Policy values are underlying dimensions of solutions, that is, they are embedded within solutions but their nature and substance fluctuate depending on the political complexion of the coalition proposing them. In other words, policy values are not fixed to solutions but constructed and attached by political coalitions. They are intrinsically desirable or important principles or qualities within policy; they are not facts but political artefacts. Take the example of a defined benefit pension plan (which is what social security is in the United States and most European pension plans). Facts are the particular formula of distributions, the identity of contributors –​employers, employees, or both –​and the exact percentages of contributions. The value is that government cares for its people and guarantees a certain income upon retirement. That is very different from a 401(k) plan, where individuals set aside money for retirement. The facts regarding contributions or distributions may remain the same, but the latter promotes the value of individual responsibility without state guarantees. The difference and the reasons for changing from one to the other go beyond financial implications and reflect the importance placed on the underlying values. A solution may contain one or a mix of different values, which convey meaning to potential coalition participants. Actors in the policy stream latch on, define, and coalesce around these values because they find them acceptable or congruent with their own. The question is: who builds the coalition in the policy stream, and how does it happen? At this point, I introduce the concept of ‘policy entrepreneurs’ in the policy stream, which represents the agency element. The task of policy entrepreneurs is to use the mix of values in order to build a coalition around the solution. They do not necessarily generate the solutions, but they advocate for them. MSA theorizes that entrepreneurs operate during the process of coupling problems, solutions, and politics. But there is no reason why they should operate only at the macro level and not also at the meso or subsystemic level. In fact, the concept of ‘policy entrepreneurs’ has experienced a renaissance of late, with the literature finding that they successfully cross policy boundaries and address quite complex problems at many different levels of governance (for example, Faling et al 2019).

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What factors increase the salience (or not) of some solutions over others? I focus exclusively on value acceptability. The literature notes that policy entrepreneurs use various strategies to forge coalitions, which help them enact their pet solutions (Mintrom and Norman 2009). According to MSA, access, persistence, and resources are important markers of success, which refers to creating broad winning coalitions in support of or against a particular solution. But there is more. Entrepreneurs are not always successful so it is important to specify the conditions of success. Cohen (2016, p 190) identifies three conditions that are endogenous to an entrepreneur, which help to increase the likelihood of success. Entrepreneurs are more likely to create broad winning coalitions if they increase their persuasive skills, if they identify the target audience’s needs and frame ideas to satisfy those needs, and if they are more willing to take calculated risks. But Cohen does not mention resources, which are an important element. Opposition may be bought out rather than just persuaded to abstain. Drawing conclusions from a comparative study of 15 cases of water management across different countries, Meijerink and Huitema (2010) differentiate between five types of successful entrepreneurial strategies: coalition building, idea development and dissemination, venue shopping, network management, and the strategic framing of ideas and opportunities. Brouwer and Biermann (2011) add that policy entrepreneurs may pursue more than one strategy at the same time. But their argument refers to policy making in general and not coalition building. If building coalitions is an important entrepreneurial strategy, how does it work in the policy stream regarding value acceptability? I apply a version of the argument used by Zahariadis and Exadaktylos (2016) regarding the process of building coalitions in MSA. They claim that the main objective of policy entrepreneurs is to build coalitions and put forth an argument based on entrepreneurial strategies. While the work by Zahariadis and Exadaktylos (2016) deals with implementation, I work backwards and apply the argument to alternative specification. If the literature accepts the point that implementation strongly affects policy formation (Goggin et al 1990), then one can plausibly argue that the logic used in implementation studies can also be similar to the logic used in policy formulation. Indeed, there is no reason to assume that coalitions in implementation are built differently than coalitions in formulation. The difference may be the actors involved and the fact that coalitions in the policy stream are more fluid. But the logic stays the same. The factors influencing policy entrepreneurs’ success in building coalitions are: side payments, institutional rule manipulation,

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short time horizons, and advocacy/​framing. They reveal different and effective tools for exercizing political power.

Hypothesis 1: The higher the side payments, the broader the political coalition is likely to be Side payments are used to create and sustain winning coalitions. They involve current and future promises to pay that increase value for coalition members. Policies typically include such provisions in order to strengthen support and minimize opposition. Riker (1962, pp 108–​14) lists several types of relevance here. Payments in the form of monetary or other value often constitute the main incentives to join and sustain winning coalitions. For example, a particular solution may involve subsidizing the car industry by directly funding domestic producers of cars through tax incentives –​for example, permitting firms not to pay sales taxes for services or products procured for the next 20 years. This solution will certainly have more appeal and support from domestic manufacturers than another solution that aims to punish importers by levying high tariffs. The immediate and tangible benefits will likely outweigh potential punishment to potential competitors. Plus, supporters may also use subsidies as a way to buy votes by stressing the positive effects on local communities. Negative incentives in the form of sanctions are another way to sustain coalitions by specifying the consequences of non-​participation. For example, there may be a provision in a given solution that not enforcing provisions of the law might result in funding cuts. If governing members of the coalition can be reasonably expected to play the same role in a number of future policies, they can then credibly offer promises about subsequent decisions. Members will therefore sustain the coalition in the expectation of future benefits or avoidance of future punishments. Finally, payments that cater to the ideology of coalition members are highly valued for the moral satisfaction of serving the cause or the political benefit of defeating the ‘enemy’. For example, the effort to undo the health care reform passed under the Obama administration (known as ‘Obamacare’) aimed to achieve not only savings to taxpayers –​because of the cost envisioned to insure all 40 million uninsured Americans –​but also the satisfaction to conservatives that ‘socialism’ was averted (Horowitz 2017). The more ambitious the changes envisioned to the status quo, the more resources are needed and the greater the use will be of selective side payments to sustain the minimum winning coalition. Entrepreneurs use material incentives as an important tool to exercize political power.

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Hypothesis 2: The more institutionalized the policy network, the less likely it is for externally advocated solutions to attract more support Entrepreneurial strategies are bounded by institutional context. As such, entrepreneurs routinely manipulate rules to increase the chances of success or failure in building coalitions. Network management and venue shopping have been explored in terms of agenda setting or decision making in various studies (for example, Zahariadis 2003; Baumgartner and Jones 2009). Managing a centralized network, for example, confers decision power to governing officials, but hostile local bureaucrats may successfully derail enforcement. Coalitions, therefore, must be not only horizontally large enough but also vertically integrated across different venues. Venues are arenas where entrepreneurs try to win the policy game by building strategic alliances to pool resources and support. The greater the distance between intended changes and the actual adoption date, the more intense the political conflict will be over rival interpretations in different venues. Coalitions that are not vertically integrated across venues, especially those that include vital stakeholders, are less sustainable over time, giving rise to bureaucratic delay and obstruction. In fact, although strategies may be pursued to support or block policy, policy entrepreneurs, Meijerink and Huitema (2010) find, more often than not ‘create barriers to future change’ by institutionalizing their ideas in more favourable venues. Greater institutionalization also implies a more stable pattern of interaction in particular venues among network participants. Such stability necessitates well-​known rules and a preference toward consensual decision making. For example, powerful groups in corporatist systems, such as labour unions, act as veto players forcing the two remaining partners –​the government and employers –​to bargain over proposed solutions (Tsebelis 2003). Even in cases where no such institutionalization exists, powerful interest groups, such as the military, may act in that capacity (Ames 1987). Therefore, preferences are more likely to be relatively stable over time and the coalitions more or less well known. Under these conditions, what role do externally proposed solutions play? Are they likely to have wide appeal or attract great support? The short answer is no. The main reason has to do with boundary porousness. By virtue of greater institutionalization, policy communities tend to be less permeable to outside influences. The number of actors is relatively fixed and so is the pattern of interaction. Outside influences tend to be disruptive because they upset the status quo. The lack of privileged

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access lessens the group’s influence. Consequently, a solution advocated by outsiders to the network, a process Kingdon (1995) calls ‘spillover’, is less likely to find traction in a community that values stability. It will be very difficult for policy entrepreneurs under those conditions to attract support for their solution unless a recognized actor within the network supports the solution as their own. As Mahoney et al (1994) contend, if insiders operate within their area of expertise, they will have a great deal of influence. As the portfolio of issue niches widens, ‘the more regular the involvement in policy community type politics is likely to be’ (Mahoney et al 1994, p 31). In short, ideas coming from outside the community will be less appealing than ideas advocated by actors within the community. For example, in corporatist communities, solutions coming from non-​recognized unions are less likely to find political support even from unions operating within the community. The reason has to do less with the content or argumentation in favour of the solution and more to do with who promotes it. An outsider has lower status or political weight inside the community. Hence, any advocated idea by that actor will likely have less political traction among network participants. Conversely, in fluid issue networks, outsiders may have considerable influence. Because the boundaries are porous, groups have status and potentially power. Outsider status is generally determined by goal or ideology and choice (Mahoney et al 1994, p 32). In cases of fluid networks, that is, those less institutionalized, a change in government will likely bring a change in the need or interest of the actor to be an outsider. Under this condition, the insider/​outsider status can be easily reversed and so can influence. Ideology also plays a role in the breadth of coalitions around particular policies. Examining labour politics in Sweden, Lindvall and Rueda (2014) find that solutions dealing largely with centre-​left issues, such as those benefiting mostly labour, tend to risk alienating outsider groups who may subsequently support radical alternatives. If proposals tend to support mainly outsiders, they risk losing insider support. The logic of this dilemma rests with boundary porousness and consequent status. The more rigid the differentiation between the two types of actors, that is, the more inaccessible the policy network is, the more likely it will be that outsiders need to be compensated within existing solutions. Hence, in more institutionalized communities, the size of coalitions forged around a particular solution will likely be larger because insider/​outsider status is more rigidly determined. In less institutionalized networks, ideology makes a difference, conferring insider/​outsider status and lowering the size or even altering substantially the nature of potential winning coalitions.

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Manipulation of institutional rules empowers certain actors not only by blocking or facilitating access to policy discourse but also as a politically useful tool to upgrade (or stifle) the power of certain ideas.

Hypothesis 3: Short time horizons decrease the likelihood of political conflict, facilitating the process of building coalitions This idea comes from Schattschneider’s (1960) work. He contends that issue expansion tends to increase political conflict. I add a temporal dimension to his argument. The terms short and long time horizons are not absolute but relative to the task and bounded by expectations. For example, one month may be enough time to figure out who will provide security services in overcrowded migrant facilities in Greece, but it is certainly not enough time to gather political support from other European Union member states to accept tens of thousands of migrants to reduce overcrowding and therefore increase security in the same facilities. Expectations are affected by institutional or political calendars, such as budgetary or electoral cycles. Sometimes expectations are disrupted episodically because of crises caused by, say, wars or earthquakes, or deadlines imposed by outside actors, such as a judge unexpectedly imposing a deadline to agree to a school desegregation plan. Disruptions in the temporal progression of policy have predictable consequences for coalition building. Building coalitions in a relatively drawn-​out process increases political conflict and makes coalition formation more difficult. Conversely, keeping a shorter time horizon makes conflict a bit more manageable, increasing the appeal of a given solution by reducing participation and resistance to it. In other words, manipulating institutional boundaries is an important way to bias the process, but controlling or even shaping the temporal dimension of the process equally involves the exercize of political power. The reasons are twofold. First, expanding debate to the broader public gives the opportunity to additional groups to enter the debate space. Because groups are interested in keeping winning coalitions to a minimum, they are likely to resist broadening the debate. Additional actors may place additional demands on existing members in terms of benefits or resources, raising the cost of sustaining the coalition or increasing the spectre of greater resistance to it. Second, shorter time horizons reduce debate participation. Participants drop out of the process due to other time demands or lack of expertise. Weiner (1976) provides an example of a judge demanding a decision regarding school desegregation be made in a shorter timeframe by imposing a deadline. Important participants dropped out of the process and those

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who were activated tended to be individuals with considerable slack but not necessarily with expertise. Hence, the remaining participants were able to coalesce around a solution because their numbers were smaller and the mode of exchange less contentious. Shortening the duration of the process also alters the long-​term orientation of policy makers, making conflict less likely. Because of temporal constraints, policy makers cannot fully evaluate alternatives. Instead, they are more likely to consider short-​term implications because they are more obvious and immediate. For this reason, policy entrepreneurs are likely to be more successful at building coalitions provided the solutions they propose have immediate benefits and/​or adverse long-​term implications. In contrast, elongating the process of deliberation increases political conflict. For example, the likelihood of coalescing around solutions that entail highly controversial labour practices or take away labour rights is more likely when debate is temporally constrained because the opposition has less time to organize. Zahariadis (2015) analyses the impact of short time horizons on decision outcomes and finds that they significantly alter group dynamics. By implication, they also affect the nature of and support for particular solutions. To illuminate the logic of why temporal duration affects preferences, he examines two insights from the literature on social psychology: time stress and temporal discounting. By implication, changes in preference construction affect the appeal of any one solution to different policy actors. Time stress narrows the focus of attention. Perlow (1999) argues that the way individuals perceive and use time may lead to collective perceptions of ‘time famine’ and crises in work environments. Similarly, research by Waller et al (1999) indicates that the presence of members with a time-​urgent orientation decreases multitasking behaviour in teams working on a creative task. More generally, research at the individual level suggests that as the level of stress increases (that is, there is a shorter time horizon), individuals adopt increasingly narrower perspectives (Combs and Taylor 1952). In practice, this means that time pressure leads individuals (and groups) to reduce the number of issues they attend to and their scope (Driskell et al 1999). The idea is that time pressure amplifies the need for information processing while it reduces the availability of information (Janis and Mann 1977). Consequently, it is important to identify shortcuts to build coalitions. Values dispense with details and condense information in a useful way that travels widely. They also signal to potential coalition members who may be behind a particular solution. There is no need to fully comprehend or debate the intricacies of a solution if the

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‘right’ trustworthy actors support it. Time stress favours the process of coalition building. Assuming stable cultural parameters, the literature on temporal discounting finds that people tend to place greater value on short-​rather than long-​term choices (Loewenstein and Elster 1992). Numerous explanations have been advanced to support this phenomenon. Akerlof (1991) argues that the effect is due to changes in the saliency of costs and benefits at different points in time. Loewenstein et al (2003) also suggest choice bracketing. The fact that decisions are not a single process but several linked choices implies that the calculus of joining a coalition will vary from solution to solution, altering temporal perspectives and goal attainment. In essence, the temporal distance between a choice and its consequences affects its value to participants. Process duration makes a difference in the effort groups exert towards attaining goals. Solutions whose impact will be felt further into the future are less likely to be valued and are less likely to attract policy actors. Procrastination is the rule in a solution-​rich environment. For example, decisions about social security are less likely to be acted tomorrow than are decisions about the government’s imminent bankruptcy. If these solutions are considered simultaneously, coalitions are more likely to be formed around the latter because its impact is more proximate.

Hypothesis 4: Solutions that substantially deviate from the status quo are more likely to appeal to policy actors if they are framed in terms of losses Advocacy and framing are discursive strategies used to attract supporters to new policy proposals, mobilize opposition, and justify policy interventions. Linkages between cooperation on one element and cooperation on another can ensure that all parties gain by participating. Or they can play a strategic role by expanding the agenda to mobilize opponents and increase policy conflict (Schattschneider 1960). Solution advocacy and framing play a critical role in focusing and sustaining the attention of coalitions by articulating policy values, arguing for their significance, and altering perceived consequences. By articulating policy values, solutions to fund health care in the US through greater choice and individual responsibility gain greater political traction than solutions aiming to provide universal health care. The difference is not simply the financial implications but rather the relative unwillingness of society to collectively care for the uninsured. By framing consequences, policy entrepreneurs help define solutions and potential consequences

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to members of the coalition. Universal health care, for example, implies added cost for every taxpayer but not every citizen, thus increasing the bill for specific groups. Framing is thus an argumentative strategy that binds together ideas and actors and helps construct narratives among coalition members. Such narratives in turn enable entrepreneurs to affect coalitional composition, cohesion, size, and sustainability (Shanahan et al 2018). Policy change frequently involves framing contests (Boin et al 2009) and contradictory demands. Sætren (2015) finds that leadership commitment and will to be key ingredients of entrepreneurial success in sustaining coalitions that promote radical departures from the status quo. (Re)framing prompts ambiguity and political conflicts because it signals a lack of political will (Brinkerhoff 2000). As actors become unable to predict outcomes, they are more likely to misrepresent information in pursuit of non-​cooperative behaviour (Robbins 2010, p 526). By implication, coalitions are less likely to form. Framing also affects perceived payoff. The payoff for joining a coalition is the expected value of future decisions multiplied by the probability of the coalition functioning (Gamson 1961). If a steeper slope discounts the value of decisions because outcomes are pushed further into the future, coalition support may fall apart. Resources are redistributed but not in a predictably stable fashion, leading to even deeper utility discounts for supporters and potential benefits for opponents. In MSA terms, framing fosters ambiguity and redistribution, which alter the estimates of equity and efficiency that sustained the policy’s appeal among coalition members. In its simplest form, framing involves the editing of losses and gains. Prospect theory presents persuasive evidence that, under conditions of risk, individuals tend to respond differently to prospective gains or losses. Many experiments have confirmed that people tend to be loss averse; they hate to lose more than they like to win. Political scientists have explored this insight derived from laboratory experiments in the ‘real’ political world (Vis 2011; Stein and Sheffer 2018). Jervis (1992) adds that the magnitude of losses makes less difference than the fact of losses. Experimental evidence confirms anchoring biases and predictably risky behaviour in the face of losses among public employees (Bellé et al 2018). When faced with the potential of losing or gaining identical amounts, foreign policy makers are likely to prefer riskier courses of action to recoup losses (Berejikian and Early 2013). McDermott (1998) presents a series of cases in US foreign policy –​ from the Suez Canal crisis to the Iranian hostage rescue mission –​to illustrate the risks that Americans took to avoid rising costs.

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What are the implications of these insights for coalition formation and solution generation? Solutions that aim to upset the status quo are more likely to attract attention and support if they are framed as losses. The point is that these solutions involve greater risk taking. Because policy actors are normally risk-​averse, they have to be enticed to join the coalition supporting a risky proposal. They are more likely to do it if they perceive it as the better way to avoid or to recoup losses. Hence, arguments during the editing stage of alternatives need to revolve around how to avoid losing more if this course of action is not adopted. Notions of effectiveness and efficiency are important but how they are perceived depends on which pieces of information are activated and what meaning is being constructed. The narratives of each solution contain assumptions made by each member of the coalition and are revealed through what Hajer (1993, p 47) called ‘discursive affinity’: ‘arguments may vary in origin but still have a similar way of conceptualizing the world’. Various strategies, including argumentation and the transmission of policy values, can bias coalescing in predictable ways (for example, Montessori et al 2019). The political power of ideas binds actors into a meaningful narrative, biasing the remainder of the policy-​making process. Not only do coalitions infuse a particular interpretation of the solution, but they also help legitimate a specific version of the problem in a backward mapping fashion. Once you know the ‘right’ actors to support or oppose a particular course of action, you can infer what the problem is likely to be. In this way, coalitions not only own solutions but they also point to and help legitimize particular versions of problems.

Conclusion In this chapter I unpacked MSA’s concept of ‘value acceptability’. It is one of several factors that determine the salience of a particular solution. Solutions whose value orientation is accepted by a higher number of actors in the policy network are more likely to become salient and receive serious consideration for adoption. The process was conceptualized as a coalition-​building task by policy entrepreneurs. Four factors were identified as important in facilitating the forging of coalitions around particular solutions: side payments, institutional rule manipulations, short time horizons, and advocacy/​framing. The findings have implications for MSA and for the construction of meaning in public policy and the broader study of political power. The study informs MSA by unpacking the concept of ‘value acceptability’ and adding agency to the process of alternative

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specification. Coalitions are formed by entrepreneurs around solutions whose frames bind actors in pursuit of manipulated consequences and constructed values. Debates in the policy stream do not involve ideas promulgated on their own. Someone is behind the solutions, constantly combining, advocating, and framing in different fora and to different audiences. The process is highly political as it involves coalitions being forged around particular solutions. Each solution represents a package of ideas and a set of actors who expect to gain, or at least not to lose. Notions of efficiency, fairness, and bargaining coexist in this process. But there are broader implications that go beyond MSA. Coalition building is also a discursive process by which solutions acquire meaning. Preferences become concrete and through the use of language are propagated to other actors in the policy network. In this way, language becomes both a signal and a symbol. As a signal through advocacy, it serves as a way of letting other policy actors know who supports the solution. In periods of crisis or ‘time famine’ in general, these shortcuts are important for busy actors who do not need to read or espouse the entire solution. The fact that part-​time work, for example, is called a neoliberal ploy is enough to signal to others that progressives oppose the solution and so should they (if they consider themselves progressive). As a symbol through framing, language constructs meaning. It helps place the solution in the broader discursive context of public policy. Not only does it identify the solution but it also helps define the problem. For example, favouring universal health coverage not only signifies a value for caring for weaker members of society, but it also identifies political inequality as a serious and pressing social problem. Hence, language is not value-​neutral. It reflects and helps construct preferences and political power. As Durnova and Zittoun (2013, p 573) categorically assert: ‘Language is therefore not only a tool that enables interaction, but also an instrument of power.’ Political conflict often transcends preferences and interests. It confers meaning because it reflects values that are implicit in any solution. Coalitions built around each solution are held together by more than material links or institutional rules. They are also held together by the meaning attached to the constructs they contain. In this way, coalitions in the policy stream involve solution ownership. They bind together ideas and actors into a single ‘package’, which signals support or opposition in later stages of the policy process. The process draws inspiration from Hajer’s (1993) concept of ‘discourse coalitions’, but it also goes beyond his work by emphasizing the process and direction of strategic interaction –​ not just storylines –​behind a particular solution and the importance of solution ownership. It is not enough to engage in argumentation

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across different spaces in the policy network. It is important to also own the final product. The process of crafting solutions through building coalitions is as important as owning the outcome because coalitions may be fluid and ephemeral. What sustains them to cast a long shadow into the policy process is ownership of the ideas. Ownership confers control, and control conveys power. The process of argumentation acquires political significance and supplements conceptions of political power. While political power is a contested and evolving concept (for example, Hauggard and Ryan 2012), Lukes (2005) usefully identifies three forms of political power: coercive, institutional, and ideational. They are, in turn, direct decision-​making power (Dahl 1957), agenda-​setting power (Bachrach and Baratz 1962), and preference-​shaping power (Carstensen and Schmidt 2016). While the literature views them mostly as discreet, I find them to be interrelated. They constitute different arrows in the policy entrepreneur’s quiver. Political power is traditionally understood as direct control by one actor over another (Dahl 1957). Side payments or their absence are a vehicle through which such power is exercized in forging coalitions. Institutional power may be defined as actors’ exercise of control over others through institutions that mediate between A and B (Barnett and Duvall 2005, p 51). In this view, institutions are neither neutral nor derivatives of coercion but reflect and reinforce existing patterns of interaction among policy actors. The ability to set the agenda (Bachrach and Baratz 1962) through rule manipulation or control of the debate’s time horizon helps illustrate the gap between actor control of the process and the discretion afforded by institutional rules. Ideational power is the capacity of actors to influence other actors’ normative and cognitive beliefs through the use of ideational elements (Carstensen and Schmidt 2016). This may occur directly through persuasion and argumentation or more broadly through the ideational context within which values are debated, constructed, framed, and accepted (or not) by coalitions. Ideational power is exercized when actors are able to persuade others normatively or cognitively to join the coalition, when they advocate or legitimate their solutions, or when they convince other actors of potential gains or losses for or against specific solutions. Argumentation is the exercise of political power that is not just ideational. Coalitions are built partly through sheer coercion, by manipulating institutions, or by (re)constructing reality. To the extent that all solutions involve interpretations of the past and estimates of the future bound by actors into a coalition, solution ownership also signifies attempts to control the past, present, and future. As a result,

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argumentation constantly constructs new realities, uncovers different empirical data, and links normative assumptions to novel interpretations (Fischer and Gottweis 2013). In this way, solutions are not just answers to important social questions, they are also discursive elements of a fluid and continuously (re)constituted political reality. An important dimension of understanding the process of specifying alternatives is value acceptability, which involves a combination of all three forms of political power. Policy entrepreneurs may use one or more of these forms to forge and sustain coalitions around the same solution. Which one is more important and under what conditions is an empirical question that depends on the issue and context. But examining how coalitions are forged and how solutions are owned and by whom is a good place to start. Notes 1

2

Kingdon (1995) originally used the label ‘policy communities’. However, because the concept implies institutionalization and routine interaction that may not be present in every setting, Zahariadis and Allen (1995) used the label ‘policy network’ to reconceptualize it as a continuum, with policy communities on one end and issue networks on the other. Some discourse coalition approaches (for example, Bulkeley 2000) also link policy networks to the politics of meaning, but the argument is not narrowed down to solutions at the subsystemic level. Zahariadis and Allen (1995) refine this argument to note that trajectories of solutions vary according to the policy network’s degree of integration.

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Goggin, M., Bowman, A., Lester, J. and O’Toole, L. (1990) Implementation theory and practice: Toward a third generation, Glenwood: Scott Foresman. Hajer, M.A. (1993) ‘Discourse coalitions and the institutionalization of practice: the case of acid rain in Great Britain’, in F. Fischer and J. Forester (eds) The argumentative turn in policy analysis and planning, Durham, NC: Duke University Press, pp 43–​76. Haugaard, M. and Ryan, K. (eds) (2012) Political power: The development of the field, Toronto: Verlag Barbara Budrich. Horowitz, D. (2017) ‘Obamacare socialism proceeding as Marx wished’, Conservative Review, 22 November, available at: www.conservativereview. com/​news/​obamacare-​socialism-​proceeding-​as-​marx-​wished/​ Janis, I.L. and Mann, L. (1977) Decision-​making: A psychological analysis of conflict, choice, and commitment, New York: Free Press. Jervis, R. (1992) ‘Political implications of loss aversion’, Political Psychology, 13(2): 187–​204. Kingdon, J.W. (1995) Agendas, alternatives, and public policies (2nd edition), New York: HarperCollins. Koop, C. (2011) ‘Explaining the accountability of independent agencies: the importance of political salience’, Journal of Public Policy, 31(2): 209–​34. Lindvall, J. and Rueda, D. (2014) ‘The insider-​outsider dilemma’, British Journal of Political Science, 44(2): 460–​75. Loewenstein, G. and Elster, J. (eds) (1992) Choice over time, New York: Russell Sage Foundation. Loewenstein, G., Read, D. and Baumeister, R.F. (eds) (2003) Time and decision: Economic and psychological perspectives on intertemporal choice, New York: Russell Sage Foundation. Lukes, S. (2005) Power: A radical view (2nd edition), London: Palgrave Macmillan. Mahoney, W.A., Jordan, G. and McLaughlin, A.M. (1994) ‘Interest groups and public policy: the insider/​outsider model revisited’, Journal of Public Policy, 14(1): 17–​38. McDermott, R. (1998) Risk-​taking in international politics: Prospect theory in American foreign policy, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Meijerink, S. and Huitema, D. (2010) ‘Policy entrepreneurs and change strategies: lessons from sixteen case studies of water transitions around the globe’, Ecology and Society, 15(2): 21. Mintrom, M. and Norman, P. (2009) ‘Policy entrepreneurship and policy change’, Policy Studies Journal, 37: 649–​67. Montessori, N.M., Farrelly, M. and Mulderrig, J. (eds) (2019) Critical policy discourse analysis, Cheltenham and Northampton: Edward Elgar.

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Perlow, L.A. (1999) ‘The time famine: toward a sociology of work time’, Administrative Science Quarterly, 44: 57–​81. Riker, W. (1962) The theory of political coalitions, New Haven: Yale University Press. Robbins, S.M. (2010) ‘Play nice or pick a fight? Cooperation as an interest group strategy at implementation’, Policy Studies Journal, 38(3): 515–​35. Sætren, H. (2015) ‘Crucial factors in implementing radical policy change: a comparative longitudinal study of Nordic central agency relocation programs’, Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis, 17(2): 103–​23. Schattschneider, E.E. (1960) The semi-​sovereign people, Chicago: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. Shanahan, E.A., Jones, M.D., McBeth, M.K. and Radaelli, C. (2018) ‘The narrative policy framework’, in C.M. Weible and P.A. Sabatier (eds) Theories of the policy process (4th edition), New York: Routledge, pp 173–​213. Stein, J.G. and Sheffer, L. (2018) ‘Prospect theory and political decision-​making’, in A. Mintz and L.G. Terris (eds) The Oxford handbook of behavioral political science, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Stewart, J. (2009) Public policy values, New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Tsebelis, G. (2003) Veto players: How political institutions work, Princeton: Princeton University Press. Vis, B. (2011) ‘Prospect theory and political decision making’, Political Studies Review, 9(3): 334–​43. Waller, M.J., Giambatista, R. and Zellmer-​Bruhn, M.E. (1999) ‘The effects of individual time urgency on group polychronicity’, Journal of Managerial Psychology, 13: 244–​56. Weiner, S.S. (1976) ‘Participation, deadlines, and choice’, in J.G. March and J.P. Olsen (eds) Ambiguity and choice in organizations, Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, pp 225–​50. Zahar iadis, N. (2003) Ambiguity and choice in public policy, Washington: Georgetown University Press. Zahariadis, N. (2015) ‘Plato’s receptacle: deadlines, ambiguity, and temporal sorting in public policy’, Leviathan, 30: 113–​31. Zahariadis, N. and Allen C. S. (1995) ‘Ideas, networks, and policy streams: privatization in Britain and Germany’, Policy Studies Review, 14(1/​2): 71–​98. Zahariadis, N. and Exadaktylos, T. (2016) ‘Policies that succeed and programs that fail: ambiguity, conflict, and crisis in Greek higher education’, Policy Studies Journal, 44: 59–​82.

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The Marks of Ownership: The Promotion of Carbon Capture and Storage in France Sébastien Chailleux

Introduction Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a bundle of technologies aiming to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) on industrial sites and store it underground in depleted oil and gas reservoirs or saline aquifers. The literature describes a three-​step history of CCS: a first period of development based on research and development (R&D) and demonstrators (1990–​2009); then a crisis period (2009–​14); followed by a potential revival from 2015 (Markusson et al 2012; Minx et al 2018). CCS was developed initially to reduce carbon emissions in the energy sector, but with the rise of renewables, CCS now targets heavy industrial activities such as cement, steel, and chemical plants. The Global CCS Institute describes France as a second-​tier actor in CCS development. The country is recognized as having a lower domestic ‘inherent interest’ in CCS than countries such as Australia, Canada, China, and the United States (US), since its ‘propensity towards fossil fuel production and consumption’ is lower (in particular in the electricity production sector because of the high proportion of nuclear power), and since it has undergone considerable de-​industrialization (Global CCS Institute 2017, p 37). While France seems to have only a limited strategic interest in developing CCS and while only one injection facility has been commissioned so far, publicly funded

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researchers continue to develop new R&D projects, and CCS was integrated in the 2020 National Low Carbon Strategy as a contribution to the 2050 carbon neutrality goal (MTES 2020). This constitutes a paradox that this chapter aims to address. Why is there a significant CCS coalition in France despite the low ‘inherent interest’ for CCS? How has this coalition adapted its CCS proposal according to critiques so as to sustain political attention for 20 years, despite achieving none of its previous promises? Investigating the French coalition of CCS promoters, this chapter sheds light on the role of the owners of the proposal, how they shape it, and how they benefited from the promotion of the CCS solution for combating climate change. Drawing on the critiques made in Chapter 1 of Kingdon’s (1984) conceptualization of the coupling process between the various elements of the policy problem and the development of a solution, this chapter tackles the role of ownership of a policy proposal to better understand the policy process. Using the concept of ‘ownership’, borrowed from Gusfield (1981), we analyse the mechanisms ‘chaining’ together a coalition of actors with a policy proposal that became ‘their’ policy proposal. We describe how the coalition’s identity, resources, and spaces of dispute shaped the kind of proposals these affiliated actors developed and advocated in political and public arenas. Owners of a proposal not only define a solution that fits their expectations, they also shape it to demonstrate their legitimacy to participate in government action and assert their ability to manage and to settle public issues. Ownership of solutions redefines the bonds between proposals and problems while building the identity of the group as part of the same process. The identity of owners marks the bonds between proposal and problem as it reflects their own vision of the world, and at the same time, the proposal becomes part of their identity as they gain a reputation (Carpenter 2010), professional opportunities or political influence. Investigating the way the proposal moves back and forth between confined spaces and public fora, this chapter analyses how the ownership of CCS by experts and industrialists determines the definition of both what that solution means and which problem it aims to solve, and also what the owners gained from the promotion of the proposal, even when poorly implemented. We take a closer look at three aspects of ownership of a proposal: the space of dispute where the proposal is initiated; the role of targeted publics; and the proposal’s ability to be adapted in answer to critiques. First, the co-​construction of the CCS proposal and the coalition supporting it involve the investigation of an expert space of dispute. Such restricted areas of discussion, especially those requiring

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expertise, are ruled by a specific regime of legitimacy, involving a bundle of knowledge and know-​how determining what is right or wrong, good or bad, feasible or impossible, and so on. Expert spaces work as epistemic communities (Haas 1992) but are also asymmetrical social fields where dominant actors enforce the regime of feasibility and guard the borders of a citadel to dismiss any attempt to impose new meanings within it (Zittoun and Chailleux 2021). However, publicizing a proposal is in many cases an obligatory point of passage for a coalition that has to justify its policy solution in front of a larger audience (the media, locals, Parliament, and so on). While a dominant regime of legitimacy within a restricted space participates in stabilizing a policy area, it seldom fits the rules organizing public fora where multiple rationalities compete. The proposals of experts are therefore not often appropriate for debating in public fora where heterogeneous actors are involved. Nonetheless, the technicization of problems provides the experts concerned with other types of resources that target not so much the public forum but more discreet and hidden arenas, favouring industrial actors (Culpepper 2012). Analysing the expert space where CCS is debated, we show that the technical features of the proposal weaken its legitimacy in the public forum while they do not prevent it from gaining traction in discreet governmental arenas. Second, imposing a policy solution includes defining the actors who will be in charge of its implementation, whom we have called the targeted publics. These actors can join the coalition of promoters when the proposal fits with their own goals, becoming co-​owners of the proposal and thus contributing to its redefinition. Pressman and Wildavsky (1984) demonstrated the role of the large number of intermediaries involved in the implementation of unemployment policies in Oakland, California. In that study, the role of agents determined the success of the decision. Co-​ownership has three main similar impacts. First, co-​owners introduce a new regime of legitimacy that redefines the proposal in new terms that make it meaningful in other areas of discussion. Second, co-​owners also bring resources to the proposal in the form of funds, infrastructures, networks, and reputation. And third, co-​owners redefine the proposal to fit their own goals, which can differ from the initial proposal’s objectives and therefore generate conflict between the divergent co-​owners. Investigating the CCS coalition, we highlight how industrialists and experts came together to support the CCS proposal, how they used it to redefine part of their public identities, but also how this co-​ownership led to divergent revisions of the proposal when co-​owners’ identities conflicted.

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Finally, the question of the malleability of a proposal raises the issue of the ability of a coalition to adapt its narratives to various expectations, given the spaces of dispute and the targeted actors. We have called this ability to adapt to critiques when moving between spaces of dispute ‘transilience’ (Zittoun and Chailleux 2021). While resilience describes the ability to overcome a disturbance and to stay the same despite alterations in the environment, transilience demonstrates the ability of narratives to adapt and integrate critiques when moving between spaces of dispute, while also matching different actors’ expectations and identity. Drawing on the interestment process1 of actor network theory (Latour 1986), this chapter shows how a proposal has to fit different problematizations and to adapt to its allies’ expectations in different spaces in order to make itself indispensable for every member of the coalition. We show that, in the case of CCS, transilience is incomplete. On the one hand, the proposal was adapted to meet the expectations of various actors and their identities, and matched different ways of framing the issue it aims to solve: from decarbonated power production to carbon neutrality through limiting de-​industrialization. On the other hand, technical features of the CCS proposal failed to adapt to the rules of the public forum and it did not prove its legitimacy to the public, the media, and most members of the French Parliament. Taking a pragmatic approach, we analysed the different spaces in which promoters of CCS exposed and confronted their arguments from the late 1990s to 2017. We analysed the French press as a best proxy to understand how CCS is translated in a public forum. We analysed a corpus of 579 press articles collected from the Europresse database between 1997 and 2017. Lexical analysis of the corpus enabled us to extract the main narratives the actors developed in these articles and also how reporters disseminated CCS to larger audiences. To access more discreet and restricted spaces, we conducted 12 interviews in 2018 with promoters (oil and gas companies, research centres, and international organizations) and policy makers (from the Ministry of Ecology and an energy agency) with responsibility for CCS in France and we analysed how various reports, roadmaps, and parliamentary bills defined CCS. We look at how actors ‘equipped’ their proposal with instruments and arguments in different types of spaces. We followed the main promoters of CCS to understand how they built credibility and legitimacy for CCS and how they advocated the proposal to French policy makers and wider publics. No opponent of CCS was interviewed because the topic has low public visibility in France and no French non-​governmental organizations have been mobilized on CCS except locally in the case of the pilot project at Lacq (in south-​west France).

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We focused on the coalition of promoters and how they translated external critiques and adapted their proposal over time.

Rising hope (1993–​2005): a dream of engineers in an expert space In the 1990s, in France, two research centres became the policy entrepreneurs of CCS: the Institut Français du Pétrole et des Energies Nouvelles (IFPEN) (French School of Petrol and Renewables)2 and the Bureau des Recherches Géologiques et Minières (BRGM) (National Geological Survey). IFPEN and BRGM were facing the decline of their traditional activities, with decreasing oil production and the closing down of the French mines (Chailleux et al 2018). CCS provided a new area for their expertise, a new way to justify their activities in the light of climate change and energy transition. They possessed an expertise of the past; they now wanted to take part in the future: ‘IFPEN works upstream, we were always concerned by the whole chain of hydrocarbons, from geology to uses in engines, what we called “from wells to wheel”. And CCS is something that works the other way round, if you like. … There were political directives, but on the basis of what we had already done. France does not have a huge emissions problem through heavy industries and power production. … We were not a target. Politicians started to seize the opportunity when they understood the issue was not French but worldwide.’ (IFPEN interviewee) The two organizations explained that CCS gained political traction then because it could generate a new way to export French subsurface expertise worldwide, following nuclear energy or the traditional role of geological surveys to map foreign subsurface. Indeed, France did not have a particular interest in the national implementation of CCS because its energy mix was already decarbonized, while the initial target of CCS was coal power plants at the European Union (EU) level. Expert owners promoted CCS as a strategic way of achieving international distinction on the emerging market of mitigating climate change, and they asked for funding to have a head start on potential competitors such as Norway and the US. The proposal was first channelled through existing R&D funding to test its credibility in a particular space dominated by technical and scientific legitimacy. At the international level, promoters lobbied

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the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to recognize the role of CCS. In its 2005 special report, the IPCC considered ‘CCS [as] an option in the portfolio of mitigation actions for stabilization of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations’ (Metz et al 2005, p 3). This scientific recognition labelled CCS as a global policy option for combating climate change, even though technical challenges remained, framing the R&D objectives for more than a decade. EU framework programmes have supported CCS since 1993 and one interviewee at the European Commission’s Directorate-​General for Research and Innovation pointed out the 700 million euros invested in research in CCS and clean coal technology. CCS should have mitigated climate change and the impacts of more stringent environmental regulation on European economies simultaneously (Directorate-​General for Research and Innovation interviewee). In France, significant investment in CCS really began with the involvement of Ademe (Agence de l’environnement et de la maitrise de l’énergie) in 2002, which provided new funding and integrated CCS into its roadmaps. Ademe is a state agency created in 1991 and is in charge of energy management and environmental protection. Under the combined supervision of the Ministries of Ecology, Research and Higher Education, Ademe has an average budget of 700 million euros. It became the promoter and funder of the proposal defining CCS as a solution to mitigate climate change, exemplifying the particular position of the coalition, and cutting through the boundaries between public research centres, private companies, and state agencies. The agency is pivotal to energy transition because it sets guidelines to inform government action, and it implements policies through funding and roadmaps. Ademe, through the creation of ‘Club CO2’ in 2002 with the IFPEN, the BRGM and the agency in charge of industrial risk assessment (INERIS), structured the CCS coalition. Since 2002, one engineer at Ademe has been dedicated full-​time to the development of CCS. Ademe also funded this coalition and became a main stakeholder in almost all the projects: 30 R&D projects, 16 PhD theses, and three demonstrators funded between 2002 and 2012.3 Ademe integrated CCS into official roadmaps without facing a public debate. Ademe’s CCS officer explained that CCS was an option among other priorities in the ‘demonstrator fund’,4 but the option was not really visible at the ministerial level. Funding was only discussed in closed spaces among homogeneous actors: for example, the person responsible for CCS at the Ministry of Research in 2018 had previously worked for IFPEN, and is therefore already part of the CCS coalition. Funding was justified by the ‘Factor 4’ French policy, and reiterated in various

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other policies: from the national strategy for sustainable development in 2003 to the Energy Transition Act 2015, targeting a division by four of CO2 emissions by 2050. In those policies, CCS is supported as a hypothetical future need but without any rush for implementation and publicization, therefore validating the R&D approach valued by experts. CCS is not under the spotlight of the institutional agenda except when ministers and presidents want to show their commitment towards innovation or combating climate change or to opposing deindustrialization: when the Kyoto protocol came into effect in 2005, French President Chirac put forward carbon capture but only among other things and only to support investments in ‘green technologies’.5 When President Sarkozy supported the Ultra-​Low CO2 Steelmaking (ULCOS) project in 2012, he did not insist on CCS but rather spoke about ‘modernizing’ an industry and keeping jobs.6 These two actors brought temporary support but they never entered the CCS coalition as they did not commit to defending CCS. In the vertical organization of the French administration, the Directorate of Energy is in charge of CCS. But this directorate was moved from the Ministry of Industry to the Ministry of Ecology following a general reorganization of services in 2007. Therefore, CCS has been under the supervision of ministers whose perimeter of action is defined by the ‘environmental’ aspect of the issues and solutions they manage. Officials explained that, for successive Ministers of Ecology, the proposal was associated with clean coal and oil and gas companies. Compared with renewables, publicly supporting CCS did not bring any political legitimacy to those ministers whose expected role was to protect the environment and not to appear to support a solution defended by the oil and gas industry (Ministry of Ecology interviewee). The expert promoters of CCS successfully imposed CCS in the R&D agenda, which did not involve petitioning the government directly as funds and guidelines were already available to them.

Demonstration (2005–​09): co-​ownership by industrialists Under Factor 4, CCS is one technical option among others but an option that attracted considerable industrial co-​funding. Industrialists, especially power producers and oil companies, were the targeted publics of the solution, the only ones able to put it in motion. They were the targeted publics but they rapidly became co-​owners when they saw the opportunities CCS brought them. The CCS coalition expanded

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to meet the challenges of upscaling the R&D projects to industrial demonstrators. The industrial co-​owners brought new resources but they also contributed to redefining some aspects of the proposal as they became essential to the credibility of the proposal (without them, CCS was just a ‘paper’ solution). Public–​private partnerships developed that were the basis for what O’Neill and Nadaï (2012) called a ‘policy of demonstration’, that is, a progressive upscaling of the projects given the successful public experimentation. French demonstration projects mostly concerned capture: Total and Air Liquide developed oxycombustion (2006–​11), while EDF and Alstom developed capture technology based on amines at a coal power plant in Le Havre harbour in 2010, and ArcelorMittal joined Ademe for a capture technology in blast furnaces in 2004. Air Liquide, associated with Alstom and Ecole des Mines of Paris, and developed another technology of capture called ‘antisublimation’. However, industrialists complained about the costs, which amounted to tens of millions of euros, while carbon still had no official price. French companies imported CCS into their own discussions of future strategy, discussing not only technical feasibility but also economic impact. This does not mean that experts ignored the economic aspects of CCS, in fact economists worked on CCS at the IFPEN since its inception, but rather that experts first defined CCS as a technical endeavour while industrialists stressed the development of a new carbon industry.7 If industrialists were to be ‘enrolled’ into the CCS solution, it had to benefit them either as a new business or as a public relations exercise. Schlumberger, a producer of pipes and petroleum services, was expecting new business prospects: ‘I was convinced at that time I would be able to sell the best technologies of all our oil-​related services. It was super-​interesting. We could have made big money because the issue was complex and we would have had to develop best technologies in all the segments: well construction, characterization, cementing, drilling, etc.’ (ex-​Schlumberger R&D interviewee) Total had an interest in energy efficiency through its refineries and its tar sand extraction sites but the main incentive was reputational: the company could rebrand from being responsible for climate change to being responsible for its solution:

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‘We were at the origin of an issue, we were a part of the problem, and we wanted to take part in the solution. And we had the expertise. Everybody was looking at us saying we had to develop this stuff, this technology. We wanted to show our goodwill. At that time we were constantly under the threat of over-​taxation for exceptional profits, and the French government was saying: “You have to do something or we tax you.” So we had been preparing some ammunition for Thierry Desmarest [former chief executive] such as the pilot project of Lacq, where we said: “We could improve the science, we could do R&D.” It cost us 100 million, but it was an order of magnitude that Total could sustain.’ (Total interviewee) The demonstration policy CCS supporters adopted thus had a double meaning: pilot projects were the spearhead of a new industry looking for credibility; they were also demonstrations of the will to act for the climate from industries considered to be responsible for the problem. Most industrial actors we interviewed described their interest for this “peculiar technology” (Schlumberger interviewee) but they saw it as a solution among many –​as did most policy makers. CCS had the advantage of being their own solution, the solution that would improve their reputation, bolster their political capital, and limit radical change to their core activities (from burning coal to extracting oil and gas). This industrial ambition relied on the necessity to set a price on carbon emissions, so policy change was required at the EU level. In Europe, power producers and oil and gas companies coalesced in the Zero Emission Platform (ZEP). O’Neill and Nadaï (2012) showed that the ZEP lobbied the EU Commission and Parliament to include CCS in the European energy transition programme NER 300 and to issue a directive on CCS in 2008–​09. NER 300 enabled the funding of a Europe-​wide flagship programme of CCS demonstrators, provisioning 300 million euros’ worth of quotas in the European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS).8 In 2009, the EU also published the CCS directive, providing a legal framework ‘for the environmentally safe geological storage of CO2 to contribute to the fight against climate change’ (Directive 2009/​31/​EC). The directive required EU member states to adapt their own legislation. Nonetheless, these two European policy decisions took place in a discreet policy arena between the ZEP, the European Commission and the European Council (O’Neill and Nadaï 2012, p 16). Despite being approved by the European Parliament,

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a public forum, CCS was drowned in a package for renewables skilfully drafted by the ZEP. Even though partnerships with industrialists opened the proposal to economic concerns, it did not change the confined nature of the debates. The press analysis shows that, before 2009, an important share of articles discussed technical options and risk assessments (see Figure 1). The articles are mostly from the specialized press, only 25 per cent are published in mainstream generalist journals, and all describe a technological promise, suggesting that the media forum reproduced the experts’ framework vision. CCS is defined as a typical ecological modernization proposal: it envisions climate change as a technical issue that can be fragmented into manageable parts, leading to innovations, new markets, and a business-​as-​usual political horizon without much input from organized civil society (Mol et al 2009).

The downfall (2010–​14): when technical feasibility was exposed to the public forum While two policy decisions validated the CCS proposal at the EU level, the actual implementation of projects extracted the proposal from the expert space and the discreet political arena where it had been discussed since its inception. The proposal was publicized in three different public fora in which different elements defining CCS were criticized, weakening the proposal. First, implementation of large-​scale CCS demonstrators put the proposal to the test of the local communities, who worried about risks linked to storage such as leaks, aquifer contamination, and induced seismicity. This first public forum took the shape of local public meetings where promoters tried to explain their project to distrustful locals. In fact, each onshore storage project in Europe faced local opposition (about property devaluation, transportation challenges, ‘winners’ in the capture area’, ‘losers’ in the storage area, and so on), with different degrees of hostility (Brunsting et al 2011). The technical debates on risks and uncertainty in restricted spaces –​but publicly accessible –​were dragged out into the open and were found to favour opponents who underlined uncertainty as a reason not to proceed with demonstrators. The most widely publicized opposition targeted Total’s French storage demonstrator in Chapelle-​de-​Rousse (2006–​13) and questioned the impact on the quality of Jurançon wine in the event CO2 should leak. However, opposition was channelled through existing consultative procedures so that no radical contestation could emerge and BRGM was called on as a third-​party expert to calm the fears of

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opponents. Nonetheless, this contestation shook the confidence of promoters who did not at first understand why people were opposing a project labelled ‘environment-​friendly’. The contestation of the pilot project showed that CCS supporters had not prepared their proposal to be understandable and acceptable for a non-​specialist public. But some industrial actors also used the contestation to their own advantage. The issue of social acceptability was used to stop new investments, as some promoters questioned their enrolment in new projects following the fall in the EU ETS price. While Total promoted its storage project as a success –​which put the company under the professional spotlight for a while –​the company did not develop CCS further for a couple of years. Second, the proposal was put to the test of markets and wider critiques about its profitability. Following the drop in the EU ETS price (from €30/​tonne in 2008 to less than €10/​tonne in 2009 and over the next nine years), the NER 300 programme failed to fund any CCS projects for two main reasons: too many quotas were delivered to industrial companies that overestimated their growth before the financial crisis of 2008; and the economic crisis slowed down both economic growth and greenhouse gas emissions, making it less relevant to implement CCS and contributing to a further drop in carbon allowances. Without a sufficient price for carbon, the proposal became irrelevant from an economic perspective, which was the main attraction keeping industrialists in the coalition. The International Energy Agency (IEA) notes that US$30 billion of funding was announced between 2007 and 2010 but less than US$3 billion was actually spent (IEA 2016, p 39). The European Energy Program for Recovery still had its funds for CCS but, one after the other, EU member states withdrew their co-​financing. In France, the failure in 2012 of ArcelorMittal’s project for capturing fumes from blast furnaces –​the Ultra-​Low CO2 Steelmaking (ULCOS) project –​ended the political expectation about maintaining industrial activities regarding CCS. This economic backlash changed the way CCS was described in the media: Figure 1 shows that in 2012 and 2013 economic breaks became an important topic of attention in the press which mostly insisted on the failure of ULCOS. Another reason for the reduced interest in this solution was the unexpected growth of renewables in Europe, which made the use of CCS in the energy sector irrelevant. Power companies left CCS consortiums, as did other companies such as Alstom and Schlumberger. IFPEN also distanced itself from the coalition, leaving only the BRGM as the main expert promoter. Third, opponents challenged the cornerstone justification of the proposal: its contribution to climate change policies. While some

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environmental non-​g overnmental organizations (NGOs) were initially open to CCS (O’Neill and Nadaï 2012, p 18), Greenpeace issued a critique based on the marginal impact of the technology on climate change, the experimental nature of the technology, and the continuation of a fossil-​fuel model of development. These critiques targeted not only the media forum but also international negotiations such as the Conference of the Parties (COP) and international environmental campaigns. Figure 1 shows a rise in the use of the ‘marginal tool’ critique in 2015, corresponding to the opposition to CCS during the 21st COP (COP21). Greenpeace denounced a ‘false solution’ back in 2005 and the organization published a special report in 2015 named Carbon capture scam (CCS): How a false climate solution bolsters big oil (Greenpeace 2015). CCS continues to be the target of ‘green-​on-​green attacks’ that are critiques based not on the outcomes of a project but on its supporting model of development. Opposition to CCS can be understood as a part of movements such as 350.org promoting the end of fossil fuels.9 CCS appears to be the solution of oil and gas companies, and therefore is opposed as a false solution for tackling climate change. During this third period, the CCS proposal was challenged in the public forum. While CCS was still defined as a solution for climate change, public scrutiny unravelled previous supporting arguments and led to the desertion of some supporters because social and economic contexts did not match the assumptions made in the expert space.

The phoenix is reborn (2015–​20): conflictual definition between co-​owners in the governmental arena Resisting the critiques, CCS promoters in Europe transformed their narratives and network to sustain political support and legitimacy over the issue of climate change. However, this adaptation weakened the bonds within the coalition, revealing the loose definition of CCS, and we identified two distinctive narratives: one from the oil and gas companies favouring offshore storage; and one from French experts and government focusing on diversified projects. This divide was already present before the downfall, but the revival of the proposal makes it clearer. More importantly, CCS survived the crisis and the proposal remained an integral part of climate roadmaps, underlining the influence of the coalition inside the French administration. Industrialists explain the defeat of CCS by weak carbon pricing, the obsolescence of an economic model based on green coal, and a lack of social acceptance. Industrialists reshaped their proposal to adapt to

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these critiques, which led to a new coalition of supporters focusing on non-​power-​related emissions. The network of supporters evolved with the withdrawal of power producers and new alliances with refineries, and cement and steel producers. The proposal centred on its core operators: the oil and gas companies. The ZEP was less active and more actions came from the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) bringing together oil and gas companies, which aims at investing US $1 billion over 10 years in a climate initiative to reduce CO2 emissions. In France, Total endorsed CCS and, despite the absence of projects for the French subsurface, the company integrated the technology into its portfolio of diversified activities. CCS is at the core of Total’s climate strategy and the company stresses that it spent 10 per cent of its R&D on these technologies.10 Therefore, the oil and gas companies affirmed their ownership of the solution and embraced CCS as their strategy for climate change. These companies continue to defend the big facilities model but within a new framework. Since 2017, Total has been associated with the Norwegian Equinor and the Dutch Shell for a joint venture for CCS in the North Sea called the Northern Light Project. This project illustrates the new narratives of European CCS. First, to facilitate the social licence to operate, the new projects involve offshore carbon storage. Storage onshore is thought to be more conflictual and new Norwegian, Dutch, and English projects target the North Sea, which is becoming the European storage site for carbon (Total interviewee). Storage should also be close to emitting industries in order to reduce transportation costs (harbours are of particular interest). This completes the second transformation, which is the emergence of a new business model splitting the chain of CCS between storage and capture. Still based on carbon pricing, the idea is that it is too complicated for a single company to manage capture, transportation, and storage, so an emitter would only have to manage capture, which is within the grasp of its expertise. Transportation and storage are left to an external service provider, probably an oil producer, because it has the required expertise with the subsurface and sometimes possesses existing transport infrastructures such as pipelines. Norway could then become the European manager of carbon storage. By making the proposal simpler and easier to understand for non-​specialists, the new narratives try to adapt to the constraints of the public forum. They used the comparison with the waste industry to make the carbon industry an ordinary sector. This proposal gained traction at the EU scale again –​through a new NER 300-​type financial scheme –​but the test of the public forum is yet to come because the Northern Light project is still at the exploratory phase.

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French experts are mostly critical of this Norwegian solution because it means they lose the battle over the ownership of European expertise. Experts favour diversified and smaller projects: the proposal adapts to various existing or promised industries, each new branch leading to new R&D funding. Smaller projects have emerged (IEA 2016, p 26), sometimes combined with geothermal production, sometimes with biomethane production.11 CO2 could also be used for hydrogen production, another provider of future energy. They now speak of CCSV, with V for valuation, or CCUS with U for utilization, which aims to substitute carbon utilization from fossil fuels by carbon capture, but mineral carbonation and CO2 concrete are only experimental and utilization does not store sufficient amounts of CO2 from a climate perspective. ‘We are not afraid to move toward small emitters generating 10,000, 20,000, or 30,000 tonnes of CO2. Before, they were totally out of scope and out of sight, because they were said to be too costly and not relevant. Now, however, with carbon valuation, these could be interesting. More important, it would be possible to develop a network, connecting big emitters with small emitters. We would gather CO2 for valuation processes and the rest would be stored.’ (Ademe interviewee) The proposal also aims to enrol new local actors with smaller projects based on the needs of local communities in order to make these proposals more socially acceptable. ‘I think we should now reason at the territorial scale, by industrial basins, and see if in that territory there is a need for capture, transportation, storage, and valuation of CO2. … I think we should raise awareness at local government level. We did that with the Région Centre and they added a line on CCS in their regional planning. The regions can channel ERDF [European Regional Development Fund] funds for equipment on that basis.’ (BRGM interviewee) These new narratives are mostly promoted behind doors in meetings with experts and with national and local officials, and only four articles in our corpus mention smaller projects and one bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) project. The new narratives are still produced within a confined regime of feasibility, and even though

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promoters manage to enrol new local allies, they are still not able to publicize their proposal to a larger audience. Despite its inability to conquer the media forum, the experts’ proposal has been translated in the latest version of the French policy about CCS: the 2020 Low Carbon Strategy for 2050 (MTES 2020), which targets carbon neutrality. The document was drafted within the Ministry of Ecology, and the bureau in charge of subsurface defended a slot for CCS in that strategy, validating the experts’ proposal and rejecting the oil industry’s proposal. The document is a roadmap that aims to develop BECCS and validates the abandonment of CCS for power production. Under Factor 4 policies, France was able to put CCS aside because at the time it did not need the technology to decarbonate its energy mix; but to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, France needs CCS to store the CO2 from non-​power production such as the chemical, cement, steel, and waste industries. The new model also tries to distance itself from oil and gas companies (“it was embarrassing to subsidize oil and gas companies” –​Ministry of Ecology interviewee) to generate a new representation of CCS as a local instrument to achieve carbon neutrality. However, the new policy still imposes a remote timeline based on 2050, which does not engage immediate policy decisions or implementation; it just launches a new round of R&D. ‘This is not on the agenda. This is not a political priority. We are left with our research priorities, we inscribed it [CCS] in the SNBC [Low Carbon Policy]. We know that it will happen at some point, so we are preparing ourselves. But it is a long-​term schedule.’ (Ministry of Ecology interviewee) Leaning towards the experts’ proposal appears to be a way for French policy makers to abandon big facilities owned by the oil industry and to forge a new meaning for CCS based on the territorial strategy of French experts, simultaneously enabling the preservation of French expertise concerning CCS and preventing the delocalization of the invisible but still expected carbon industry. During this last period, the proposal was adapted to the two critiques discussed earlier, while both the experts and the oil and gas industry adjusted it to the challenges of social acceptability, economic profitability, and political traction. While each of them found relative support at different scales, the debate became confined again, showing how the proposal is better fitted to discreet arenas than to the public forum.

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Table 3: Milestones for CCS in France Period

Main promoters

Main framework

Main policy decisions/​ events

Main spaces of dispute

1993–​2005: R&D

BRGM and IFPEN

Developing and Existing R&D exporting French funding expertise

Expert community

2005–​09: Ademe industrial Total, EDF, demonstrators ArcelorMittal, Schlumberger (and ZEP) BRGM and IFPEN

Decarbonizing power production Anticipating carbon regulation Avoiding industrial delocation

EU CCS Directive (2008) EU NER 300 funding (2009)

EU Commission and Parliament Consortiums Club CO2

2010–​14: downfall

Ademe BRGM

Decarbonizing non-​power industries

Failure of Media ULCOS Local public (2012) meetings Total’s pilot at Lacq (2006–​13)

Since 2015: renewal

Ademe BRGM Total (and OGCI)

Developing an offshore carbon industry Diversification

Low carbon Expert community strategy (2020) Consortiums

Summary of the four periods Table 3 summarizes the milestones for CCS over the four periods.

Discussion Analysing the trajectory of a particular proposal, in this chapter we provide new insights about the dynamics contributing to the definition of a proposal within a confined space of dispute. Confined and restricted spaces of dispute, especially expert spaces, are a significant source of proposals. They structure a homogeneous community with similar social representations: the coalition agree more easily on an area of common ground. They make it easier to assert the social role of their community to foreign actors: in promoting a proposal to a public problem, these actors demonstrate their raison d’être. They possess particular resources, ranging from scientific credibility to access to public and private funding. The trajectory of the French proposal to develop CCS to tackle climate change teaches us three valuable lessons about the interdependent influences between a proposal and the

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coalition supporting it, and about the ability of the proposal to adapt to changing spaces of dispute, which we call its transilience. First, confined expert spaces of dispute tend to draft very specific proposals based on their main regime of legitimacy. The proposal then bears the marks of the regime of feasibility that shaped it. Certain aspects of the proposal were overwhelmingly technical and beyond the comprehension of laypeople, which made it particularly difficult for CCS to pass the test of the public forum. The economic scheme supporting the proposal was also complex and uncertain and proved ineffective in supporting actual implementation. These two main features can be traced back to the specificities of the confined debates held by the actors among a homogeneous coalition of geoscientists blind to the social dimension of the implementation of their proposal. These characteristics can easily become a liability when the proposal exits the confined space of dispute to confront other spaces that are not ruled by the same regime of feasibility, if any. The characteristics of the expert space crippled the ability of CCS to adapt to the rules of the public forum where it was seeking wider legitimacy. While only one injecting facility has so far been built, the proposal still awaits the test of the public forum. Second, expert coalitions are built on a similar specialization operating within research centres, the administration and the relevant industries: they gather like-​minded people from key positions able to manage fundamental research, policy incentives, and industrial development. Such coalitions share the features of policy networks (Rhodes 1997) and issue networks (Heclo 1978) because they are able to advocate their proposal from within the government. On the one hand, expert coalitions build proposals based on their access to funding opportunities shaped by R&D policies dedicated to disruptive breakthroughs. The configuration of the CCS coalition fits perfectly with the expectations of European R&D policies because it brings together hard science experts with major industrialists to co-​fund projects. On the other hand, the CCS coalition integrated policy makers because most of its experts came from public organizations. The role of Ademe is central in the French case because the agency is at the same time a proponent of the proposal and the organization funding projects. Just as we have shown that civil servants and oil companies co-​constructed the exploration projects in the case of shale gas (Zittoun and Chailleux 2021), CCS displays the same co-​ construction process between the administration and CCS promoters. This specificity of the coalition favoured the transilience of the proposal in the governmental arena because it adapted to the changing needs

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of the French policies: the initial political support targeted an export model, while the latest proposal adjusted to the development of negative emissions and carbon neutrality. Third, there can be more than one owner of a proposal within a coalition and co-​ownership can lead to misalignment between the promoters when the proposal no longer matches with each actor’s expectations. The proposal from geoscientists gained a great deal by interesting oil and gas companies that were initially only the targeted publics of the proposal. They had the resources to fund and lobby their solution in multiple arenas and to demonstrate its feasibility. Solutions are therefore co-​produced in relation to its targeted publics. However, those publics have flexibility in the way they translate the proposal. The same way street-​level bureaucrats interpret policies, the publics of a solution are not passive actors –​they engage their own definition. This co-​ownership sheds light on the marks the identity of the co-​owners left on the proposal. CCS is not just any proposal that could be promoted by any actor, but one led by experts and industrialists. These shaped the proposal according to their own worldviews, as the lack of anticipation of social and political aspects showed. The proposal also participated in shaping their identity: for subsurface experts, CCS renewed professional opportunities and political salience; for industrialists, CCS showed their willingness to act on the climate crisis. However, co-​ownership can also be conflictual and it led to a divergent redefinition of the proposal given the identity of the owners: in the latest period, the experts tried to maintain their position and implication in French policies while industrialists aimed at developing new markets. Finally, the quasi absence of any publicization of the proposal did not preclude CCS from being integrated into policy documents, but it is shown to have been quite problematic when actual projects were to be developed. Consistent with Culpepper (2012), the CCS proposal is initially suited to ‘quiet politics’. Culpepper argues that when an issue is less politically salient, business interests have greater power to achieve exactly what they want. It is no coincidence that the issues that politicians and voters care the least about tend to be the most complicated. This complexity is to the advantage of business, which is given relatively free reign over these policy areas. However, when actual projects took shape, they were criticized in part because of the discreet process by which the technology was discussed. Most promoters see this issue as a problem of ‘social acceptability’, but some of them regret the absence of public debate where CCS could be explained and integrated into the French policy to tackle climate change. The

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very same features that enable CCS to adapt to the R&D framework, the pilot and demonstrator framework and even the carbon neutrality framework limit the actual implementation of CCS because they do not integrate the characteristics of the social world where projects are supposed to land. The technical regime of feasibility and confined debates obscure the necessary social dimensions of such proposals: co-​ construction between public planners, public research centres, and oil companies weakens the possibility of independent expertise on projects, and the identity of the oil companies involved is a political liability for policy makers, especially when the proposal is seeking support from the Ministry of Ecology.

Conclusion This chapter brought new insights to the question of the definition of a policy solution in showing that solutions built in discreet spaces lead to a high probability of contestation in the public forum. The relationships between owners of a proposal and the publics who implement it are crucial for building credibility and legitimacy. Policy solutions therefore follow different trajectories from public problems. Our case study shows that the trajectory of solutions coming from confined spaces could be successful as long as they never had to face the test of the public forum. R&D proposals mobilized experts who had access to funding schemes through the interestment of administrative agencies, initially avoiding public and political scrutiny. While the definition of a public problem has been described as a way for subordinate actors to bring policy change, policy solutions are the tool of the dominant actors in a policy subsystem to limit change. The technical features of ecological modernization can therefore be understood not as a limiting factor to the legitimacy of a proposal in the public forum, but as a strategic move to maintain the proposal within the scope of ‘quiet politics’ (Culpepper 2012). Notes 1

2

Interestment occurs when an actor is able to redefine the objectives of other actors in a way that enables everyone to achieve their goals. Interestment is a process of translation of an external problem into the problematization of the network. An effective interestment is called enrolment, meaning that an actor and their problem have been successfully integrated into the network to support a common collective goal. Formerly a professional organisation, the institute became an ‘industrial and commercial public establishment’ with training and research missions. Active in

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3 4

5 6 7

8

9

10 11

the areas of energy, transportation, and the environment, the institute develops future technologies and materials. Ademe, ‘Captage et stockage géologique du CO2’, Les avis de l’Ademe, March 2013. Decided in 2009, the fund encompassed 400 million euros of investment over four years to develop disruptive technologies for energy transition. AFP, ‘Jacques Chirac vise plus loin que Kyoto’, 15 February 2005. AFP, ‘Sarkozy promet des propositions pour Florange’, 27 February 2012. Comparing the websites of the BRGM and Total is telling: the oil company insists that the costs of the technology are a major challenge (www.total.com/​ media/​video/​carbon-​capture-​and-​storage-​climate-​change-​answer) while the geological survey mainly stresses the scientific issues (www.brgm.eu/​project/​ geological-​storage-​of-​co2-​european-​research-​frontline). For an analysis of industry’s efforts to reject a carbon tax in favour of a carbon market, see Meckling 2011. For example, in April 2020, stakeholders, including major French banks and management funds, submitted a resolution during the general assembly of Total to denounce CCS as a false solution (‘Climat: le pétrolier Total sous la pression d’un groupe d’investisseurs’, Le Monde, 16 April 2020). www.total.com/​commitment/​climate-​change/​carbon-​neutrality Biomass Energy CCS (BECCS) enables negative emission because the biomethane produced is burnt to generate power or heat and then the CO2 produced is buried.

References Brunsting, S., de Best-​Waldhober, M., Feenstra, C.F.J. and Mikunda, T. (2011) ‘Stakeholder participation practices and onshore CCS: lessons from the Dutch CCS case barendrecht’, Energy Procedia, 4: 6376–​83. Carpenter, D.P. (2010) Reputation and power: Organizational image and pharmaceutical regulation at the FDA, Princeton: Princeton University Press. Chailleux, S., Merlin, J. and Gunzburger, Y. (2018) ‘Unconventional oil and gas in France: from popular distrust to politicization of the underground’, The Extractive Industries and Society, 5(4): 682–​90. Culpepper, P.D. (2012) Quiet politics and business power: Corporate control in Europe and Japan, New York: Cambridge University Press. Global CCS Institute (2017) Global status report 2017: Join the underground, Global CCS Institute. Greenpeace (2015) Carbon capture scam (CCS): How a false climate solution bolsters big oil, London: Greenpeace. Gusfield, J. (1981) The culture of public problems: Drinking, driving and the symbolic order, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Haas, P.M. (1992) ‘Introduction: epistemic communities and international policy coordination’, International Organization, 46(1): 1–​35.

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Heclo, H. (1978) ‘Issue network and the executive establishment’, in A. King (ed) The new American political system, Washington: American Enterprise Institute, pp 87–​107. IEA (2016) 20 years of carbon capture and storage, Paris: IEA. Kingdon, J.W. (1984) Agendas, alternatives, and public policies, Boston: Little, Brown. Latour, B. (1986) ‘The powers of association’, in J. Law (ed) Power, action and belief: A new sociology of knowledge?, London: Routledge, pp 264–​80. Markusson, N., Shackley, S. and Evar, B. (eds) (2012) The social dynamics of carbon capture and storage: Understanding CCS representations, governance and innovation, Abingdon and New York: Earthscan. Meckling, J. (2011) Carbon coalitions: Business, climate politics, and the rise of emissions trading, Cambridge: MIT Press. Metz, B., Davidson, O., de Coninck, H., Loos, M. and Meyer, L. (2005) Carbon capture and storage, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Minx, J.C., Lamb, W.F., Callaghan, M.W., Fuss, S., Hilaire, J., Creutzig, F., Amann, T., et al (2018) ‘Negative emissions –​Part 1: research landscape and synthesis’, Environmental Research Letters, 13(6): 063001. Mol, A.P.J., Sonnenfeld, D.A. and Spaargaren, G. (eds) (2009) The ecological modernisation reader: Environmental reform in theory and practice, London and New York: Routledge. MTES (2020) Stratégie nationale bas carbone, Paris: Ministère de la Transition écologique et solidaire. O’Neill, R. and Nadaï, A. (2012) ‘Risque et démonstration, la politique de capture et de stockage du dioxyde de carbone (CCS) dans l’Union europeenne’, Vertigo, 12(1). Pressman, J.L. and Wildavsky, A.B. (1984) Implementation: How great expectations in Washington are dashed in Oakland, 3rd edition, Berkeley: University of California Press. Rhodes, R.A.W. (1997) Understanding governance: Policy networks, governance, reflexivity, and accountability, Buckingham: Open University Press. Zittoun, P. and Chailleux, S. (2021) Politique publique sous pression, Paris: Presses de Sciences Po.

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7

Anticipating Public Approval in the Binding of Immigrant Integration Problems and Solutions Ilona Van Breugel

Introduction This chapter looks at targeting as an essential and insightful step in the policy solution formulation process. By studying how people are classified and categorized as target groups in Dutch immigrant integration policies, the chapter illustrates how the formulation of policy solutions is constrained by the taboos on the political and public agenda. By avoiding group-​based policies for immigrants and applying indirect or generic policies instead, policy makers anticipate public and political approval in the pre-​decision stage of policy solution definition. The analysis of targeting as part of the policy solution process contributes to this book’s aim of a constructivist understanding of the policy formulation stage. In support of the editors’ claim that, like the policy stage of problem definition, the construction of policy solutions is also marked by conflict, critique, and opposition (see Chapter 1), this chapter illustrates how policy makers cope with the ‘conflictual nature’ of solution definition through different discursive strategies for targeting. These interchanging strategies help policy makers to navigate contestation and policy taboos, within both the administration as well as the broader public and political debate. Policy makers anticipate the public approval of their policy solutions in the selection of target groups

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and policy instruments. Although policy formulation largely takes place in the ‘hidden’ pre-​decision stage, the public is present in the stage of policy solution formulation. By anticipating public and political approval, policy makers see themselves forced to restrict the possible policy solutions to those that are considered politically opportune. Given the contested nature of migration policies and their key focus on identity, an analysis of targeting strategies in this field provides an insightful look into the dynamics of policy solution formulation. Based on an analysis of different targeting strategies in Dutch immigrant integration policy making between 2010 and 2018 and interviews with policy makers, this chapter contributes to the first dimension of the pragmatic constructivist approach to public policy, ‘meaning in action’, by illustrating how policy taboos influence the process of binding policy problems and solutions. Furthermore, the alternative strategies that policy makers apply contribute to the second and third dimensions of coalition forming and spaces of dispute.

Targeting as part of the policy solution process As highlighted in Chapter 1, the process of policy solution formulation is primarily considered instrumentally. But this approach fails to take into account the construction of and competition over different policy solutions, neglecting the politics of binding policy problems and solutions. This chapter contributes to the study of policy solution definition through the lens of targeting, with insights into the discursive activities of policy actors, to understand how they define and bind policy solutions. A reconstruction of targeting strategies can illustrate the process of policy solution formulation and the normative choices that are made and anticipated in this process. Targeting subgroups of the population is an essential element of the formulation of policy solutions, addressing the ‘who’ in the Lasswellian question of ‘who gets what and how’ in policy solution formulation, defining how goods and services are redistributed, and which groups are distinguished through whom to address the identified policy problem. By targeting, people are classified and grouped into policy-​relevant categories (see Yanow 2003; De Zwart 2005), resembling who the government identifies is part of, or responsible for, the policy problem or solution, binding both together in a causal chain. The more accurately a policy reaches its target group, the less wastage in the process, maximizing its efficiency in reaching its policy goals (see Sen 1995, pp 11–​12). More than merely a cost–​benefit analysis of effective redistribution, targeting forms an important selection moment in

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solution formulation and carries significant social and political effects. Much has been written on classification and categorization in the policy literature, pointing to the stigmatizing effect of group distinctions (see Jeffers 1967; Tajfel 1981; Wilson 1987; Rogers-​Dillon 1995; Sen 1995; Tilly 1998; Brubaker and Cooper 2000; De Zwart 2005). Beyond the direct effect that categorization has in highlighting a group and setting it apart, influencing the perceptions of others, several authors also claim that target-​g roup constructions affect the targeted citizens themselves and their behaviour (see, for example, Schneider and Ingram 1997). It is important to take into account the performative effect of targeting in the process of policy solution formulation, both on society as a whole and on the subjects of targeting. Targeting in policy thus requires balancing the costs and benefits of the (re)distributed goods and regulations and the potential stereotyping and stigmatizing consequences thereof for the group involved (De Zwart 2012), and how policies are justified (Sniderman et al 1996).

Methods This chapter is based on data collected for the European research project ‘Upstream’ on the mainstreaming of immigrant integration policies (see Scholten and van Breugel 2018; Van Breugel and Scholten 2019) and an additional study of Dutch local immigrant integration policies (Van Breugel 2020). The studies consisted of a combination of policy analysis and interviews with policy makers, focusing on Dutch national and local immigrant integration policy making between 2000 and 2018. An analysis of the official policy documents on immigrant integration enabled me to identify different targeting strategies and thereby reconstruct (part of) the policy solution formulation process. To give readers further detail, at the national and local levels (a selection of 16 cities), I collected and subsequently selected all the official policy documents (memoranda, policy plans) on immigrant integration between respectively 2010 and 2014 and 2014 and 2018. As part of the policy analysis, different targeting strategies were coded. I started with the distinction between targeted and non-​targeted policies, but later inductively identified targeting by proxy, and also temporary and combined targeting, as targeting strategies. Additionally, interviews with policy makers at the national and local levels were conducted to reflect on the process of policy solution formulation, the dilemmas encountered, and the strategies that were applied in the process. This involved interviews with policy makers in the social domain and the key responsible policy makers for immigrant

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integration policies either at the national level (Ministry of Social Affairs) or the local level (Diversity or Citizenship Department). In the next section I first briefly introduce the case of Dutch immigrant integration policies before then moving on to the policy analysis and interviews with the policy makers to examine the process of policy solution formulation.

Targeting in Dutch immigrant integration policy making While migration policies determine whether someone is allowed to enter or stay in a given territory, immigrant integration policies focus on the subsequent incorporation of migrants in society. These policies can have a spatial, political, socioeconomic, or cultural focus, and can focus on recently arrived migrants, longer-​residing citizens with a migrant background as well as the broader community or society. Examples of such policies are civic integration and language tests for newly arrived migrants, anti-​segregation measures and intercultural community programmes aimed at developing a shared identity among all citizens in the neighbourhood. Speaking directly to questions of identity and boundary making, immigrant integration policies are increasingly contested. If the very nature of the policy problem is contested, it can be assumed that the formulation of its policy solutions are not a self-​evident or neutral process either. Rather, one would expect these disputes to take place in the process of policy formulation too. Immigrant integration policies in the Netherlands have changed rapidly and frequently over the past 20 years. This indeed indicates that policy solution formulation is not a self-​evident process, but rather the outcome of conflict and debate. This makes it an interesting case to study. In the 1980s, Dutch immigrant integration policies were coordinated nationally, from different ministries, such as the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Interior and Kingdom Affairs and (most recently) the Ministry of Social Affairs. Initially, Dutch integration policies were focused on preservation of the homeland culture and tended to be group-​based. In the next decade the focus of the policies shifted to integration and adaptation. However, informed by the principle of ‘proportionality’, group-​specific targeting and monitoring played a persistent role in Dutch integration policies up to the early 2000s (mostly targeting minority ethnic groups). At the start of the new millennium, the Netherlands departed from its (perceived) multicultural past. In response to (inter)national terrorism incidents, the focus of

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the former facilitating, group-​oriented integration policies shifted to cultural adaptation. This initiated a further move away from specifically targeted policies, a development that would take different forms in the following years. Specifically, targeted policies were problematized, as they were believed to ‘have failed’ and it was no longer considered politically opportune to invest in migrant groups, mirroring the underlying shift in the perception of immigrants as ‘undeserving’. Building on this, this chapter focuses on immigrant integration policies between 2000 and 2018. In this policy period, notable changes in the policies were visible. Between 2000 and 2015, integration policies were largely dismantled, led by taboos that determined the process of policy solution formulation, illustrating the political dynamics of this process and the anticipation of public approval of policy solutions. After a description of these policy developments and the evolution of the targeting strategies, I will present the policy makers’ reflections on the process of policy solution formulation, and policy taboos and alternative strategies in framing policy solutions. Finally, I will look at the most recent period of policy development. Different forms of ‘sub-​rosa’ (Schneider and Ingram 1997) refugee integration targeting strategies, such as targeting by proxy, and temporary and combined targeting, illustrate how policy makers deal with persisting taboos and seek coalitions to overcome these when faced with sudden external policy challenges, such as the steep increase in the arrival of refugees in the Netherlands.

Move to generic and indirect policies The policy period between 2000 and 2015 was marked by a move to generic and indirect policies. This means that while policies were formerly targeted at immigrants directly, these were increasingly decoupled and replaced by policies targeting a broader, generic audience while indirectly still targeting immigrants. This is visible in two developments: the decoupling of integration from policies in policy fields such as housing and education; and the move from targeted to non-​targeted policies or targeting by proxy. While this period was marked by a high prioritization of immigrant integration on the political agenda, policy making on integration largely disappeared. So while the framing of integration on the political agenda became more explicit, policy making on integration became less explicit. In the early 2000s, a number of incidents nationally and internationally led to the politicization of the topic. Newly found populist parties such as Lijst Pim Fortuyn (LPF), Leefbaar Rotterdam,

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Leefbaar Nederland, and the Partij voor de Vrijheid (PVV) placed immigrant integration high on the political agenda, declaring that integration had ‘failed’ and shifting the focus from socioeconomic participation to sociocultural adaptation. The ‘guest workers’ who arrived in the Netherlands in the 1960s and 1970s were initially expected to stay in the Netherlands only temporarily and thus the policies that were eventually developed focused on socioeconomic participation rather than sociocultural integration. In fact, policies were targeted at maintaining ties with their home country rather than integration in the Netherlands. Eventually, a large share of the ‘guest workers’ did stay in the Netherlands and immigration further increased due to family reunification and new flows of refugee migration to the Netherlands in the 1980s and 1990s. Issues of supposed temporary residence transformed into issues of permanent residence; and the issue of participation eventually developed into an issue of adaptation. In the early 2000s, then, the public and political debate shifted the focus to the sociocultural dimension of integration. While previously left largely unaddressed, immigrant integration then became a matter of sociocultural adaptation. In 2011, the Cabinet explicitly distanced itself from its (perceived) multicultural past, stating that ‘integration … is about integration in Dutch society … Dutch society in all its diversity is the society in which those who come to settle in the Netherlands, have to learn to live, to which they will have to adapt and have to fit in’ (Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken en Veiligheid 2011, p 5). The Dutch government explicitly distanced itself from the former multicultural years of governance, marking a strong decentralization and ‘generalization’ of immigrant integration governance whereby the national government largely withdrew from the field. As of 2011, the national government was only involved with civic integration programmes (obligatory integration and language programmes and exams primarily for new arrivals, which were introduced in 2006) right after arrival, while withdrawing from long-​term integration goals. While immigrants were expected to assimilate into Dutch society, integration policies relied mostly on individual responsibility. Integration policies moved away from former group-​targeted policies, which were now considered overtly rigid, costly, and facilitating. Under the motto ‘future over descent’, policies came to focus on individuals rather than groups, and policies were from then on ‘addressed through generic policies only’ (Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken en Veiligheid 2011). These generic forms of targeting were visible in policy fields such as neighbourhoods and education too. While the first immigrant integration policies in the Netherlands developed at the neighbourhood

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level in Rotterdam, the explicit link between housing, neighbourhood policies, and integration was gradually decoupled. While dissolving segregation in the neighbourhood has remained an undiminished priority throughout the years, it is instead targeted in socioeconomic terms, addressing deprived neighbourhoods rather than (ethnic) segregation as a policy goal in itself. In education, a similar trend away from explicit integration policies is recognisable. Policies shifted from a focus on education and anti-​ segregation to a focus on educational quality alone, decoupling educational policies from integration priorities. In the early 2000s, educational policies were targeted at dissolving the ‘educational disadvantage’ of students in a vulnerable situation, targeting ‘disadvantaged’ students with or without a migrant background. In this, a migrant background, level of language command, the broader ‘educational context’ at home, and the approach to children’s development were considered important factors that can lead to the educational disadvantage of students. However, in 2003, the abolition of the group-​targeted, mother-​tongue language classes marked the beginning of the decoupling of educational disadvantage programmes from migrant background and integration in general. While previously the migrant background of the student or their parents was considered in the allocation of funding for schools, this was abolished in 2004. Thereby, targeted migration-​related diversity policies in education were brought to an end and the extra funds for schools were reallocated to a broader defined target group. From 2006 onwards, a further move from targeted to generic policies is visible. Targeting was explicitly abandoned and replaced by a generic focus on quality. Since 2011, the financial structure for schools has been adjusted. Instead of targeted financing, schools now receive their funding ‘lump sum’, meaning that the finances are not earmarked, and the definition of priorities and target groups is decentralized to the schools. These reforms mark a further retrenchment of central state interventions on integration in education. This generic framing is also apparent at the local level. While previously coordinated at the national level, since 2011, integration policies have been almost completely decentralized to the local level. This was facilitated through the ‘Collective Integrated Approach’, which facilitated a universalist approach to integration. Policies were no longer targeted on the basis of migrant background and the emphasis shifted to the participation of all citizens in the city. In these developments at both the national and local level, the emphasis was strongly focused on the ‘generalization’ of policies. In many

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cities, a broader audience is targeted by immigrant integration or social inclusion policies, while some cities have explicitly denounced group-​based policies altogether. In the end, the shift to city-​citizenship primarily came to entail a dismantling of targeted integration policies as the sector was subject to retrenchment measures that formed part of larger retrenchment measures in the social sector. This came to entail a withdrawal of the state and a focus on the individual responsibility and self-​reliance of citizens. Up to 2015, in many cities, integration had thus to a large extent disappeared off the policy agenda altogether. At the national level, the diversion from the perceived multicultural past formed an important driver for the redefinition of integration priorities using a mainstreamed approach. Remarkable in this is the dominant move to generic targeting. Rather than moving from benefiting to burdening integration policies, immigrants as a target group were entirely discarded. Although more obligatory policies were formulated, for example in the restricting civic integration programmes, notably these were reframed at an individual rather than a group level, making the immigrant individually responsible for (financing) their civic integration programmes. Group-​based targeting as a policy instrument seems to have become a taboo altogether in integration policy making. In the next subsection I will discuss how this taboo in terms of targeting determines the process of policy solution formulation through the reflections of policy makers at the national and local level.

Dilemmas of recognition In the interviews with policy makers, both at the national and local level, the stark shift to generic policies was brought up. The shift was so strong that policy makers remarked that they struggle to address integration altogether. “It [was] like a dogma, to not have targeted policies”, a policy maker at the Ministry of Social Affairs commented. This perception was also widely shared at the local level, where targeted policies came to be considered a taboo: “Migrant groups were not to be mentioned at all anymore.” The policy makers all talked about how targeted policies have become hard to justify under the generic framing. While the policy makers in some cases considered targeted policies most fitting to address a very specific policy goal, they described the pressure to formulate the policies generically at all costs. Targeted policies (for immigrants) are perceived as disproportionally benefiting immigrants over the rest of the population and thus, rather than considering the most fitting or efficient policy measure for the issue at hand, the policy

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makers explicitly take into account the public and political approval to form coalitions to support their policy solution. While immigrant integration remains explicitly problematized on the political and media agenda, policy makers struggle in binding targeted policy solutions. Several policy makers remarked how targeted integration policies are “hard to sell”. They mentioned different examples of “failed” policy solutions or suggestions that were dismissed because of a lack of public support. A policy maker from the Ministry of Social Affairs, for example, reflected on the abolishment of ethnic targeting in education. While a few years after the abolishment of the targeted policies, the Educational Council advised that the targeted policies should be reinstated as some groups were at the risk of falling behind. The policy maker reflects: ‘... there is simply no public support for this. This might be based on effectiveness studies, but such an advice will simply not be picked up on. Even if it would work, it goes so much against the current policies, that it won’t even be considered … Such an advice does not stand a chance in the current political establishment.’ (Interview) This thus illustrates how policy makers are restricted in their policy formulation, as certain policy options are considered taboo and thus a priori excluded from the relevant solutions one can choose from (see Chapter 1). A local policy maker from Rotterdam additionally commented on the Deputy Mayor for sustainability and the environment that had printed flyers about recycling in different languages after it turned out that certain groups in the city had not been reached with the generic communication strategy on recycling. Subsequently this led to a lot of commotion in the city council as targeted policies were to be avoided. To avoid such contestation, most policy makers stay away from targeted policies altogether, anticipating the public’s disapproval of the measures. So while the formulation process might be ‘hidden from sight’ (see Chapter 1), vice versa the ‘public eye’ proves to be very much present in the process of policy solution formulation –​illustrating the political dynamic in which it takes place. ‘Knowledge is not the only factor for policy development. It is also about the ideology from which the politicians operate, by which they have been elected, the sphere and tone of the public domain, the political power, which is more focused on the short term and the political colour of

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the coalition …. The Minister will not pick it up … if it does not fit the broader frame and view.’ (Interview) Here a policy maker from the Ministry of Social Affairs explicitly referred to the political context in which the policy making takes place and how the political context (and frames) completely determine the ‘what question’ in policy solution formulation. While these conditions limit the policy-​making process, policy makers do not simply follow these limitations. Like in the public space, the policy makers themselves also engage with the ‘conflictual dimension’ of policy making. In the interviews, several coping strategies to deal with the policy taboos were mentioned. Several policy makers stressed the need to ‘frame’ and formulate their policy solutions in a certain way to form broader coalitions. A local policy maker from Rotterdam commented on how programmes with a repressive outlook can be used to include more stimulating, supportive, targeted policy measures too, “it just depends on what you mention and where you put the emphasis”. In this, the policy maker explicitly mentioned the autonomy of policy makers to navigate the changing political circumstances, finding a balance between the political context and some stability and the continuation of policies. Policy makers furthermore mentioned strategies of creating (public) support and coalition forming within the public administration. A local policy maker from Amsterdam mentioned how operating in such a politicized field requires them to constantly “seek consensus and build support. It requires constantly telling the same stories.” Besides the politicization, the policy makers also operate within a context of retrenchment. “Within those restrictions you look at the agenda and seek collaborations. … You look at what is most necessary … and set up your own agenda”. The policy analysis and interviews with policy makers show how policy taboos of targeted integration policies emerged and how policy makers attempt to work with, and around, these policy taboos when attempting to bind their envisioned policy solution to the policy problem at hand. The analysis shows that while the policy making is more hidden from the public eye than the problem definition stage, the public is present in the hidden stage of policy formulation. The reflections of the policy makers clearly show how the policy makers anticipate the public and political approval of the policy solutions by avoiding certain (targeted) measures, or through alternative framing seek the desired coalitions to support their policy solutions. In the next subsection I give an overview of some additional alternative framing

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strategies that are applied in binding the policy solutions and problems in the wake of the increased refugee arrival in the Netherlands (and large parts of the world) in the summer of 2015.

Reinstating (refugee) integration policies locally While policy solution formulation between 2000 and 2014 was marked by a move away from targeted policies, in 2015 the increase in the number of refugees arriving in the Netherlands led to a demand for quick policy solutions for their accommodation, housing, and integration. New policies had to be set up for the refugees as integration policies had been largely dismantled. The targeting policy taboo (partly) persisted but faced with this new policy problem, a new range of policy solutions came up to bind them together. In line with the binding strategies the policy makers described in the previous subsection, local refugee integration policies too show that when faced with a new policy challenge, different strategies to bind policy solutions occur. I next discuss two framing strategies that stood out in the analysis of the refugee integration policies that were developed in this period. First, targeted policies are framed as temporary. Several cities emphasize that the integration programmes they set up for refugees are of a temporary nature only, aimed at the self-​sustainability of the refugees. The targeted policy solutions, in addition to the obligatory national civic integration programme, are justified as a temporary investment, necessary to speed up the process of participation and thus for the refugees to become independent of social benefits, as the municipality of Deventer writes explicitly. The municipalities of Houten and Rijswijk, for example, advocate temporary extra targeted language programmes to speed up the process of participation and to avoid an extra burden on regular school classes when refugee students would participate with a language deficit (Rijswijk). Another strategy is broadening the target group to seek broader coalitions in support of the policy solutions, in this case combining the targeting of migrant and non-​migrants groups. While the targeted policies just mentioned were framed as benefiting everyone, by speeding up participation and thereby avoiding extra costs, the second observed strategy entails broadening (or justifying) the target group for the policies altogether. In Tilburg and Houten, for example, facilities for refugees are explicitly accessible to other groups as well (for example jobseekers or welfare recipients), attempting to increase public support for, inter alia, refugee integration measures. The cities emphasize the accessibility of these facilities for non-​immigrant citizens or emphasize

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the need to maintain public support for these measures. With refugee housing, for example, several municipalities connect this to a wider target group by drawing attention to the pressure on the housing market in general, again linking immigrant integration measures to public support. This shows how policy makers redefine the policy problem by seeking broad coalitions in favour of their proposed policy solutions, by broadening the very subject of the policies or justifying the policies as temporary. In contrast to the policy trend between 2000 and 2014 in which targeted policies were considered a taboo altogether, in the policies of 2015 the perceived need to act was balanced with the persistent taboo, justifying the measures under broader or temporary framing. In some cases this now even means extra investment in language classes, for example, although justified as a temporary investment or serving a broader group than the refugees alone. These ‘justification’ strategies can be considered policy-​solution ‘binding’ strategies too.

Conclusion This chapter has shown the political dynamics of the policy solution process in Dutch immigrant integration policies. It has illustrated how a reconsideration of immigrants as ‘undeserving’ led to a trend of generic and indirect policies, and how the taboo over group-​based targeting as a policy instrument determines the policy formulation process. Rather than simply selecting the available and most fitting policy solutions in the pre-​decision stage of policy formulation, this chapter shows how political and public approval is anticipated by avoiding certain policy solutions altogether. Policy makers also engage with the ‘conflictual dimension’ of policy making, reframing their policies to seek broader coalitions in support of their proposed policy solutions. Through this process of the constant anticipation of public and political approval of policy solutions, the public is present in the ‘hidden’ stage of policy formulation. Policy makers do not only assign their own meaning to the policy solutions but also strategically anticipate the meaning of others too in their search for support for their policy solutions, redefining the causal chain of policy problem and solution. To reiterate the words from Chapter 1, a proposal cannot be separated from its speaker, but not from its audience either. As this chapter has shown, this applies not only to the stages of agenda setting but also to the pre-​decision stage of policy solution formulation itself. Policy makers’ policy solution binding strategies illustrate the political dimension of policy solution formulation, in which policy makers have to contend with not only

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different policy solutions, but also, due to the politicization of the policy formulation stage, the already constrained number of policy solutions. As the editors of this book have written, policy solution formulation is not merely a matter of efficiency, but encompasses and is imbued by social meaning. The reflections of the policy makers in this chapter illustrate that in some cases the conditions for policy solution formulation are completely determined by social and political assumptions. The different discursive strategies that policy makers apply to circumvent the policy taboos and gain support for their policy solutions illustrate the interplay between policy targeting and justification in policy solution formulation, navigating contestation, both within the administration and in the broader public debate. This chapter calls us to consider targeting as an essential element of policy formulation, and also to explicitly take non-​targeting or indirect targeting strategies into account as coalition-​building strategies. References Brubaker, R. and Cooper, F. (2000) ‘Beyond “identity” ’, Theory and Society, 29(1): 1–​47. De Zwart, F. (2005) ‘The dilemma of recognition: administrative categories and cultural diversity’, Theory and Society, 34(2): 137–​69. De Zwart, F. (2012) ‘Pitfalls of top-​down identity designation: ethno-​ statistics in the Netherlands’, Comparative European Politics, 10(3): 301–​18. Jeffers, C. (1967) The Living Poor, Ann Arbor: Ann Arbor Publishers. Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken en Veiligheid (2011) Integratie, Binding en Burgerschap, The Hague: Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken en Veiligheid, Directoraat-​G eneraal Wonen, Wijken en Integratie. Rogers-​Dillon, R. (1995) ‘The dynamics of welfare stigma’, Qualitative Sociology, 18(4): 439. Schneider, A. and Ingram, H. (1997) Policy design for democracy, Lawrence: University Press of Kansas. Scholten, P.W.A. and van Breugel, I. (eds) (2018) Mainstreaming integration governance: New trends in migrant integration policies in Europe, New York: Springer. Sen, A. (1995) ‘The political economy of targeting’, in D. Van de Walle and K. Neads (eds) Public spending and the poor, Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press. Sniderman, P.M., Carmines, E.G., Layman, G.C. and Carter, M. (1996) ‘Beyond race: social justice as a race neutral ideal’, American Journal of Political Science, 40(1): 33–​55.

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Tajfel, H. (1981) Human groups and social categories, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Tilly, C. (1998) Durable inequality, Berkeley: University of California Press. Van Breugel, I. (2020) ‘Towards a typology of local migration diversity policies’, Comparative Migration Studies, 8(1): 1–​16. Van Breugel, I. and Scholten, P.W.A. (2019) ‘Governance by proxy: a comparative policy analysis of the mainstreaming of immigrant integration governance’, Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice, 22(3): 1–​19. Wilson, W.J. (1987) The truly disadvantaged: The inner city, the underclass, and public policy, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Yanow, D. (2003) Constructing race and ethnicity in America: Category-​ making in policy and administrative practices, Armonk: M.E. Sharpe.

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Discourse Coalitions and the Messiness of Policy Solutions: College Governance in Nevada Magdalena Martinez

In the United States (US), the funding of public higher education and the formulation of higher education governing boards are functions of the state legislatures. For at least four decades, policy coalitions in Nevada introduced evidence in multiple state legislative sessions demonstrating that the state’s public higher education governing board structure was suboptimal for student outcomes and workforce goals. But year after year, state legislators produced little to no policy change. Why? The answer largely lies in the role of policy discourse coalitions and their ability to shape policy ideas and solutions. In this chapter, I discuss how discourse coalitions circulated policy ideas that were bound with solutions and political influence to maintain a centralized higher education governing board structure that produced suboptimal student and workforce outcomes. Social constructivist scholars argue that policy ideas and solutions are a complex activity that intersects with policy ideas, statements, and symbolic language use that may or may not be in the public discourse. Policy communities create an abbreviated list of solutions to survive the scrutiny of competing ideas. In the same way, discourse coalitions seek to influence, frame, create ownership, and negotiate policy solutions before and during deliberative processes. To accomplish this, coalitions often use discursive political instruments to position their ideas. One

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instrument is policy statements, which seek to unite actors, create ownership, and cement coalition members (Zittoun 2014; Durnova et al 2016). The discursive practices of coalitions and their actors can also serve to condense large amounts of factual information, mixed with normative assumptions and value orientations that assign meaning to them (Fischer 2003). Through an analysis of Nevada policy actors’ discursive practices and state legislative bills between 2013 to 2014, I focus on how coalition actors created meaning for their proposals through policy statements and how they employed their discursive actions as a strategy to bind coalition identities around problems and solutions. Through their political power and control of information to policy makers, key coalitions actors dominated policy statements. Key to coalition actors’ strategy was their ability to create coalitions and bind specific policy statements to coalition actors; in doing so they created ownership for their respective proposals. Yet the unequal political power of one key actor, the chancellor, advantaged his coalition over external, mainly community and business-​ based, coalitions, thus creating a dimension of conflict and power dynamics. These coalition conflict and power struggles were disputed in multiple spaces to cement their policy statements and proposals. While public higher education in the US receives significant state funding and oversight, few policy scholars have critically examined the discursive practices of policy coalitions in politically contested spaces and how discourse coalitions shape policy outcomes. I begin with an overview of the politics of higher education governance in the US and then discuss the specific case of Nevada.

Politics of higher education governance and governing boards in the US In the US, 73 per cent of students attend state public higher education institutions. In turn, individual state lawmakers are charged with the responsibility to create public college governing structures that regulate and oversee colleges and universities. Collectively, state policy makers in the US appropriate more than US$80 billion dollars annually and legislate on issues related to state higher education agencies and their governing board structures. Both state agencies of higher education and governing boards play a prominent role in the approval of policies, programmes, budgets, and the monitoring of the performance of higher education institutions (Richardson and de los Santos 2001). Politically, these state agencies and governing boards may advantage

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some colleges and universities over others. At the same time, state agencies serve as an important buffer between state policy makers and other institutions to manage the political complexity of inter-​agency interactions, resource infighting, and state and local politics (Hearn and Griswold 1994; Nicholson-​Crotty and Meier 2003; Tandberg 2010). The politics of changing a state’s higher education governance structure can be a ‘blood sport’ that leads to infighting, dysfunction, and instability for its institutions, leaders, and state policy makers (Tandberg and Anderson 2012). The classic principal-​agent conundrum is often present: state agencies that are tasked with regulating higher education governing structures are often the same agencies relied on by policy makers to share information that will inform policy changes to their governance structures and agencies. Yet, almost every US state has undergone some sort of post-​secondary governance change resulting from shifts in demographics or new social and economic priorities. State legislators’ political impetus for changing higher education governing boards structure is a desire to incentivize institutional behaviour that will yield different outcomes. The political messiness that transpires often brings to the fore fears about loss of resources, political power, and influence for the in-​g roup members and policy actors. For out-​ groups, policy changes are viewed as a tool to recalibrate the unequal playing field and redistribute resources and political power. Each state creates its own higher education governing board structure, and while no two governance structures are identical in the US, boards can be thought of along a continuum. On one end is a highly centralized governance approach with one or a few boards for the entire state. Typically, under this arrangement, power resides in a handful of individuals, such as a governing board chair or more atypically an appointee, such as a system president or chancellor, and less power resides at the college and university levels. For instance, a centralized governance structure is less likely to consider the needs of each post-​secondary institution and make decisions for multiple colleges and universities based on the most basic common denominator, or more troubling, to privilege one university or others and make policy decisions that advantage one or a few universities over others. On the other end is a highly decentralized governance approach where each institution has its own governing body with little to no state-​wide coordination. One example is the state of Michigan in which all public post-​secondary institutions have their own governing boards. In these instances, power and decision making are typically at the college or university level and reside with governance boards for specific colleges and universities. The majority of states’ higher education

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governing structures fall in the middle, with some consolidation, such as for their two-​year vocational colleges, and deconsolidation, and greater autonomy for research universities. Throughout the history of the US, the pendulum has shifted from the initial growth of decentralized post-​ secondary governance to centralized structures to address efficiency and budgetary priorities, and back to decentralized structures to aid institutions in their mission and specialization (Hearn and McLendon 2012). Major policy governance shifts occur largely based on the ability of coalitions to move their ideas and constructs, and introduce solutions onto state policy agendas. The process of policy solution construction by discourse coalitions, specific to how college governing boards and college governance policy ideas develop at a state level, has largely been hidden from public policy analysis. Moreover, how higher education is governed is one manifestation of state legislators’ ideals and values with regard to the role of higher education in society. However, to appreciate the nuances of coalition politics and policy ideas, as well as how these intersect in the construction of solutions, requires a level of ‘insiderness’. My professional positions –​first as an administrator in the chancellor’s office (higher education state agency) from 2010 to 2013, and then as a policy researcher at the local university beginning in 2013 –​gave me an insider perspective and access to the coalitions and the politics of policy solutions. Throughout my tenure, both positions placed me as an active participant or observer of policy conversations and public policy deliberations of legislative hearings and regents’ meetings. For this analysis, I also conducted interviews with key policy actors, collected news stories and legislative minutes, compiled extensive observation field notes, and presented findings at various academic conferences (Martinez 2017, 2019). My insider perspective confirmed that policy decisions were seldom value-​free, rational, or linear. Rather, policy actors, influencers, and coalitions operate within a context of policy and political histories, power, and interests that shape how, when, and why policy problems and solutions are shaped and introduced. This is not to say that policy-​specific evidence is unimportant; such content-​ specific information is one of many features that policy actors and coalitions take into account when formulating an agenda and policy discourse choices. The politics of policy solutions are ever-​present and deeply embedded in the discourse practices of policy actors and coalitions. As suggested by the editors of this book (see Chapter 1), a key component to understanding the nuanced underpinnings of the politics of policy is to, over time, witness ‘in action’ the actors’ and their coalitions’ discursive practices, how their policy ownership

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evolves through policy statements, and the spoken and unspoken social, political, and cultural assumptions that imbue their policy spaces. In what follows, after a contextual overview of the case, I describe how actors and their coalitions championed competing policy ideas about the state’s higher education governing structure, when and where coalition ideas and proposals became policy statements, and the sources of information that shaped their competing policy ideas.

Politics of higher education governance and governing boards in Nevada: context and coalitions As of 2019, the state of Nevada supported eight public post-​secondary institutions: two universities, one state college, four community colleges, and one research institute. From the addition of two-​year colleges in the late 1960s, Nevada state legislators had grappled with the problem of public college governance. From 1874, Nevada legislators maintained a centralized higher education governance structure to oversee all post-​secondary education in the state. By 2019, Nevada was the only state whose elected higher education governing board members oversaw a state-​wide centralized governance structure for diverse types of higher education institutions (for example, research universities, four-​year regional college, two-​year, vocational, colleges). The centralized structure meant that governing board members did not differentiate between the colleges and clustered all policy making, funding, and strategic planning (Martinez et al 2014). Beginning in 1968 and continuing to 2013, however, citizens voiced their concerns that a centralized higher education governance structure would limit community input and participation, but state legislators largely ignored their concerns. By 2012, as the state’s population grew disproportionately in the Las Vegas region, citizens and local mayors intensified the call for policy change to decentralize higher education governance (Doughman 2013). There was mounting evidence, including reports from internal and external policy analysts, who recommended policy changes to the governing board structure (James 2011; Muro 2011; SRI International 2012; Rothwell 2013; Martinez et al 2014; Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau 2015). Notably, this period also experienced as a new policy move to metropolitan regionalism (Brenner 2002), where Las Vegas policy actors and coalitions shifted their attention to region-​specific public policy and governance assets. Historically, the northern region of the state (Reno metropolitan area) had been politically advantaged in the state capital through state asset allocation and robust public policy

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infrastructure. In the southern region of the state, Las Vegas was where the majority of the state’s population resided –​mostly young, urban, and communities of colour –​and generated at least 80 per cent of state revenues for the entire state but did not receive an equivalent in either state investment nor self-​governance (Saladino 2019). As an extension of Las Vegas metropolitan regionalism, in 2013 State Senator Barbara Cegavske, a representative of the Las Vegas region, introduced a bill to move community college governance from the centralized higher education state agency, Nevada System of Higher Education, to the state’s Department of Education, the state agency responsible for primary and secondary K-​12 education. While her bill did not propose to decentralize governing boards, but rather move community college governance from one state agency to another, her bill ignited a public and policy dialogue about the limitations of the existing higher education state agency and its governance structure in terms of regional public policy and workforce development goals. Barbara Cegavske critiqued the existing governing structure and noted in public testimony: “Nevada is one of a handful of states that governs its community colleges and its institutions of higher education exclusively at the state levels and funds them using the same funding mechanism. There are many problems with this system” (Nevada Senate Committee on Education 2013, p 35). She went on to delineate mission creep, responsiveness to local economic and workforce needs, and unsustainable per-​pupil state subsidies for rural community colleges. Unspoken, but assumed in her last point, was that the urban, most populated region of the state was disadvantaged because of the northern lawmakers’ perceived view of economies of scale associated with large student populations. The reality was that the urban Las Vegas community colleges educated the majority of state college students, but received the lowest state per-​ pupil allocation compared with their rural peers across the state that received additional funding because of their remoteness. The policy issue was punted to a year-​long interim committee where legislators were charged to study community college governance and introduce policy recommendations for the subsequent legislative session. Multiple coalitions in favour of and against policy change to community college governance surfaced before and during the legislative and public hearings. While some interim policy ideas and solutions were conceived and introduced in public testimonies, other solutions were hidden from the public view and scrutiny. Coalition actors and their discursive practices shaped how state legislators understood higher education governance, problems associated with

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governance, and ideas about solutions. Coalition actors’ political influence and the region’s coalitions and state legislators also shaped how policy ideas were understood, viable solutions, and decisions as to whether to change public higher education governance. Representing different regions of the state, two central policy actors shaped how coalitions came together and their coalition discourse: the board-​appointed chancellor –​from the north –​and the government relations representative for the Las Vegas metropolitan business chamber. The board-​appointed chancellor, to whom the publicly elected regents delegated much of their political power, was a seasoned politician who had served as a university regent for almost two decades prior to being appointed as a chancellor, overseeing all campus presidents and state-​wide higher education policy and administrative duties. Politically and materially, the office of the chancellor was advantaged compared with opposing coalitions and the part-​time state legislators who sought policy changes to the college governing board structure. The government affairs representatives or lobbyists for the Las Vegas metropolitan business chamber, on the other hand, advocated for the business and policy interests of the largest private employers in the state. The chancellor’s coalition group consisted of the chancellor’s higher education state agency, elected university regents, community college presidents, and the chancellor’s hired consultants. The community college presidents –​three of whom were physically located in the north and all reported directly to the chancellor –​had little choice but to ally themselves with their boss. The externally hired consultants were contracted paid professionals and, much like an attorney, were obligated to promote the interests of their client, the chancellor. And finally, the university regents, unlike most state-​elected university representatives, conceded much of their policy formulation power to the chancellor. The concentration of political power in one appointed higher education administrator was uncommon across the US and was largely the result of a previous chancellor –​a wealthy private business owner –​who had wielded immense political power to change state policy that would consolidate political and policy power while he served as the higher education chancellor for one dollar a year (Las Vegas Sun 2005; Corbin Girnus 2018). In comparison, the broad-​based opposing coalition –​in support of policy change –​consisted of individuals primarily from Las Vegas, the southern region of the state, and included the state legislator who sponsored the bill, Latino legislators and community members, non-​ governmental business actors, former college presidents, the city mayor, and independent university researchers. Notably, the coalition members

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outside the region were former community college presidents who were critical about the chancellor’s political stronghold over presidents’ policy decision making and the lack of college autonomy. Municipal leaders envisioned closer alignment to city workforce development needs and college training. Latino legislators and community members were concerned about the underrepresentation of their Latino communities in the higher education governing board and believed policy change could expand Latino representation. Finally, university researchers focused on the lack of policy differentiation and blurred institutional missions that resulted from having a central governing board. Unlike the chancellor’s coalition, the Las Vegas coalition members had various and at times different interests that bound them together. Throughout the year-​long deliberative process where members were charged to study the issue and propose legislative recommendations, coalition actors used policy statements to position themselves and draw clear distinctions between competing policy proposals, legitimize who was in and who was out, and what arguments and solutions were valid or invalid.

The hidden side of policy ideas: constructing policy solutions Hassenteufel and Zittoun (2014) propose that to understand the hidden side of policy ideas, one must unravel the discursive practices of coalitions and analyse two activities: promotion and criticism. The promotion of policy ideas is often through the practice of seeding and cultivating the need for policy change. Policy actors use arguments, persuasion, and policy statements in their attempt to legitimize their proposals. On the other hand, criticism attempts to highlight the weaknesses or brittleness of counter proposals. Hassenteufel and Zittoun suggest that: ‘The elaboration of a policy proposal assumes a complex recycling activity for the actors who drive them. This activity includes coupling with a problem through argumentation, with a coalition through persuasion, as well as with a “decision-​maker” through imposition’ (Hassenteufel and Zittoun 2014, p 15). In the case of Nevada’s policy to change the state’s college governing boards, a repertoire of arguments was developed and deployed through coalition members in the form of policy ideas and statements. Moreover, some policy ideas originated outside the halls of legislative hearings and public discourse, and in the opaque public meetings led by the chancellor and his hired consultants. While some policy ideas were developed ahead of the legislative hearings and hidden from

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legislators’ input, other policy ideas were constructed ‘in real time’ during legislative hearings and testimonies. In one example, on 28 January 2014, prior to legislators’ first interim hearing to study whether changes to the higher education governing boards were needed –​and less than one month before the legislative hearing –​the chancellor created an ad hoc committee, Institutional Service Areas, composed of three regents (NSHE 2014). The two meetings (20 December 2013 and 27 February 2014) were held at the chancellor’s office in a conference room that accommodated no more than 30 individuals. The first meeting was held approximately one month before the legislator’s first interim hearing. The focus of the ad hoc committee –​serving the state’s rural and urban areas –​shifted priority as it became evident to the chancellor that the state legislators were moving to review legislative proposals to decentralize college governance. Soon after, the chancellor and regents framed the ad hoc committee recommendations as policy ideas that could be recycled and upcycled to the legislative body. As a state agency, it was under regulations to conduct policy deliberations in public, but its opaque title of ‘Ad Hoc Committee on Institutional Service Areas’ did not attract the attention of media, policy makers, or constituents. Furthermore, before the first ad hoc meeting, the chancellor hired consultants who were known entities in his circle of political influence. In exchange, the consultants produced lengthy reports that legitimized the centralized governance structure and proposed policy ideas that would strengthen the existing structure. Framed as an efficient policy idea to be ‘good public stewards’ of state allocations, the consultants bound their policy ideas with policy problems articulated by state lawmakers. Once the legislative hearings began, the consultants often deployed affirmative statements to legislator questions during public hearings. In one example, legislators asked a consultant if separate governing boards were more efficient, to which one of the consultants responded, “having one board is a blessing!” Such statements were also often deployed to counter policy ideas from the opposing coalition, who sought to change college governing boards. Examples of other statements asserted that the consultants were “incredibly impressed [with the state’s two-​year colleges], something the state should be proud of. The employees are passionate and connected to their communities.” The consultant went on to describe how a centralized structure can facilitate state-​wide policy implementation for higher education colleges and universities. While the research literature on centralized versus decentralized governing boards and efficiency –​measured in terms of state allocations –​is mixed (Richardson and Martinez 2009),

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the consultants’ primary focus was to deliver legislative testimony that would support the policy preference of their client, the chancellor. In doing so, these statements addressed two policy problems that legislators identified as the impetus for the year-​long study: (a) how to improve efficiency; and (b) colleges connecting with local communities and businesses. To address these efficiency concerns, the consultants’ proposals included maintaining the existing structure and increasing state funding to improve efficiency, and creating a shared services model for colleges. The consultants had previously vetted these policy ideas as part of the chancellor’s ad hoc committee and well before legislators began to deliberate in their year-​long interim committee. During this time, a shared services model was a popular policy intervention by national higher education associations to improve efficiency (Razziz 2014). The idea was to consolidate the ‘back office’ services of two-​ year colleges, including student financial aid, institutional research, human resources, information technology, online education, and finance. The consultants’ legitimized their statements with assertions that elite institutions, such as Harvard University and the University of Virginia, were ‘in conversations’ about also implementing a shared services model. The mention of elite institutions appeared to also be a strategy to validate their policy ideas, despite any evidence such as financial estimates to support the economic efficiency of their policy idea or solution. As the legislative hearings began, the chancellor maintained a parallel track with an ad hoc committee, thereby vetting his policy ideas with regents and keeping one step ahead of the legislative process. Circumventing the legislative interim committee and the hired consultants’ suggestion to regents to accelerate the shared services model “and implement it as quickly as possible” enabled the chancellor to present his policy ideas as “solutions in progress” to state legislators. As further evidence that the regents and the chancellor were circumventing the legislative process, one regent made this declaration during the meeting on 20 December 2013 meeting: “I have a feeling we are addressing a lot of the questions SB 391 will be discussing.” Immediately after, the chancellor expanded: “We are not trying to take that committee’s work, but we need to let them know what we are doing … It is a parallel track but we need to move forward.” The chancellor’s admission of the parallel track further supported his belief that the regents and his office were ‘like the fourth branch of government’ (Messery 2017), despite legal opinions that asserted that the powers for the state agency were derived from the state legislative body (Powers

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2014). Additionally, the chancellor’s use of hired consultants as external experts would eventually give legitimacy to the legislative policy ideas and solutions that would come to be embodied as the chancellor and his coalitions’ own policy statements and storylines used during the legislative hearings. Since the hired consultants represented a reputable national organization, they became the legitimating tool rather than the policy solutions themselves. On the other hand, policy ideas for the opposing coalition were created in real time, in multiple spaces, and with limited resources. That is to say, they did not rely on consultants to generate ideas, nor did they have full-​time staff solely focused on generating reports to support their policy ideas, such as was the case for the chancellor’s office. Rather, their policy ideas and statements were a mash-​up of the potential benefits to changing college governing boards that could result in improved workforce and vocational training alignment, student outcomes, racially and ethnically representative governing boards, and college autonomy. The opposing coalition to the chancellor’s policy solutions relied instead on public outlets and spaces such as television news media, newspaper opinion editorials, letters to the editor, university public education forums where they solicited and tested out policy ideas, and one-​on-​one meetings with state legislators. Depending on the coalition member, the public outlets and sites emphasized business, local cities (Barnes 2015a), underrepresented communities, or former community college presidents’ interests and concerns (Calabro et al 2015). Such an expanded publicness of generating policy ideas encouraged multiple and at times divergent policy ideas on how college governing boards could be reorganized. For instance, based on their review of the literature, university researchers suggested multiple-​levelled governing boards (Martinez et al 2014), whereas city leaders preferred increased municipal involvement in local community college boards, an idea borne from their interactions with neighbouring states and their municipal leaders. Many of the policy ideas from the Las Vegas coalition members were transparent before and during the interim committee legislative hearings and were publicly circulated by news coverage, public forums, and policy briefs. On the other hand, the chancellor’s coalition and his policy ideas, while also introduced in public regent meetings before the interim legislative hearings, were often presented under opaque agenda items to a public audience of no more than three individuals in spaces seldom used for public hearings, namely the chancellor’s conference room. Post-​meeting minutes were also difficult to obtain for insiders and experienced researchers, making

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it challenging for reporters and the public at large to understand when, where, and how policy ideas originated for the chancellor’s coalition.

Policy ideas and political strategy The chancellor and his coalition originated policy ideas from their self-​ interest to maintain power and a status quo structure. The chancellor’s office and his staff’s role, as prescribed in the legislative bill, were to ‘provide administrative support’. The chancellor’s strategy, therefore, was to hire consultants that could introduce his policy ideas, first with the university regents, and then present them to legislators on the interim committee. The chancellor’s policy –​to maintain the unitary structure and request additional state allocations –​was implemented through two strategies: circumventing the interim legislative policy process, and censoring and de-​legitimizing the Las Vegas coalition’s policy ideas. Circumventing the legislative process was a strategy implemented in the open and without resistance by state legislators or consequences to the chancellor and his office. One likely reason was that the deliberations of the ad hoc committee were absent in news outlets, and the obscure committee title, Institutional Service Areas, attracted scarce attention from part-​time legislators. Indeed, the part-​ time nature of state policy making strengthened the chancellor, who strategically dedicated staff, resources, and hired consultants to shape policy ideas and solutions as part of the ad hoc committee deliberations. Deliberations for the ad hoc committee occurred before and during the legislative process, and the same reports and policy solutions presented to university regents were upcycled at legislative hearings. Further, the chancellor censored ‘independent information’ that was counter to his policy ideas. A former community college president summarized: ‘The system objected to that concept [of college decentralization] strongly … The system and chancellor basically did not let the committee function with independent information. The people who were –​well the committee was guided to a consultant, sort of a member of the family that was the [national higher education organization]. So [name of consultant] became the voice of the impartial consultant to tell the state what they could and could not do with community college governance. That work ended up basically keeping the legislative committee from a lot of information that they needed. And therefore,

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the committee didn’t really achieve much. So, SB 391 was not successful, but it was not successful because the system and chancellor did not want to have a serious discussion about community colleges to be separated.’ One year after the legislative hearings, investigative reporters exposed the extent of censorship. Public records requests revealed that the chancellor intentionally withheld negative reports –​which were critical of the existing governing structure –​from the very consultants he had hired. One media headline read in part: ‘Challenged to improve quality at state-​run community colleges, officials of the Nevada System of Higher Education hired a consultant to recommend changes—​then killed a report saying their system is a problem’ (Barnes 2015b). A former higher education executive described these “major shenanigans” as a thinly disguised attempt by the chancellor to maintain a structure past its effectiveness. Although the individual in the chancellor’s position changed throughout the decades, the chancellor in 2013 had served in some capacity (that is, regent, legal counsel) for at least two of the four decades legislators sought to change policy related to college governance. A seasoned political actor, the chancellor was also adept at de-​legitimizing counter-​proposals during legislative processes. In one example, early in the 2013 interim legislative policy process, state legislators invited independent experts to submit post-​secondary governing board proposals for consideration. In response, university researchers submitted counter-​proposals to the chancellor’s policy ideas. The university researchers’ counter-​proposals were never included as an agenda item, in large part because of the chancellor’s political influence on legislators, particularly those from the northern part of the state. Rather, the independent researchers’ counter-​proposals were presented during public comments for a maximum of three minutes. The part-​time nature of the legislature advantaged the chancellor to drive significant portions of policy ideas and marginalize alternative policy solutions not aligned with his proposals. The asymmetry of political influence between the chancellor’s coalition and the Las Vegas coalition over policy ideas was largely a result of unequal power over how resources –​staff and consultants –​ were deployed, the people and spaces used to legitimate his policy ideas –​ad hoc committees and consultants –​that led to a coalition-​ binding process of policy ideas to solutions. To be sure, the chancellor’s ‘killing’ of negative reports and information bordered on unethical behaviour, yet despite the subsequent media attention on his behaviour,

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the regents –​his bosses –​did not take corrective action. Instead, the chancellor retired early and with his reputation intact, largely thanks to the regents who publicly celebrated his tenure and previous accomplishments. The chancellor’s policy ideas were developed in public spaces, yet the intentional deflecting through policy discourse combined with the chancellor’s office resources (i.e., hired consultants) ensured the chancellor’s preferred policy solutions were ultimately adopted by legislators.

Discourse coalitions: binding policy statements to solutions Through the policy process, coalition members intentionally attached their policy ideas to specific policy statements. In a content analysis of legislative testimonies of the Las Vegas coalition members –​whose policy solutions included localizing college governing boards –​they used specific language and terms such as ‘access and success’, ‘business workforce needs’, and ‘inclusive board’. The current colleges and governing board, they argued, fell short on ensuring student success, meeting the needs of business communities, and its members were not representative of the existing racially diverse communities. In higher education policy literature, access and success have come to be known as one of community colleges’ wicked problems; while more low-​income and racially diverse students are entering college, they continue to lag in terms of completion rates. One Las Vegas coalition member testified: ‘Close to 70 per cent of Latino students attend a Nevada community college after high school graduation. However, Latino students who go to community colleges are unlikely to leave with a college degree … Other states have community college systems that attract minorities and working-​class students yet have graduation rates of upwards of 80 per cent.’ Another Las Vegas coalition member testified: “The current college governance structure does not reflect the diversity of our community. In Nevada, Hispanics make up almost 30 percent of the population. Local governance boards … typically create greater opportunities for more inclusive board members and a sense of community ownership for local colleges.” And a key coalition member who represented

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private business interest shared: “Other governance structures allow their community colleges to be more adaptive and reactive to their local communities by offering programmes that support the needs of local employers, that align with economic development initiatives.” Through these policy ideas and statements, Las Vegas coalition members attempted to bind their solution of creating local governing boards. The chancellor’s coalition, on the other hand, rebutted the Las Vegas coalition’s grievances in two ways: (a) acknowledging the coalition’s grievances but downplaying the severity of the problem by overwhelming legislators with detailed reports –​that numbered upward of 400 pages in the first interim hearing –​on student success programmes, workforce alignment initiatives, and colleges’ process to solicit community input; and (b) physically filling the legislative hearings with existing college presidents, their staffs, and consultants, all of whom testified and accounted for at least 60 per cent of the total hearing time. In the first interim legislative hearing, the chancellor acknowledged, “current graduation rates are unacceptable, but with amended policies, the rates are improving”. Over the course of the year-​long interim study, he went to bind the need for “amended policies” to a $5 million “need-​based financial aid” programme that ultimately the legislators adopted in their final study recommendations. The chancellor and his coalition members addressed the economic development critiques to the “need for additional investments” that were ultimately bound to a $9.5 million dollar “workforce grants programme” that the legislators also accepted and included in the final recommendations. To the lack of racial and ethnic representation, the chancellor and his coalition members mostly remained silent, neither denying nor accepting the critique since the board throughout its history had remained predominantly white and male. In response, the coalition focused on the importance of “local representation” and instead focused their attention on creating symbolic “local advisory committees” that largely had little to no policy or political power. Key policy statements circulated by the chancellor and his coalition members reiterated the need for additional state allocation to improve student success and workforce and training alignment. The chancellor constructed and tested policy ideas and statements, first with the hired consultants. Once he was satisfied that the consultants were in alignment with his ideas and statements –​mainly that the existing governing structure was adequate, rather additional state allocations were needed –​he vetted and received approval for his ideas by the university regents. The regents’ endorsement was mostly symbolic

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in practice since they had largely given up their policy formation powers to the chancellor, but nonetheless they remained part of the policy process theatrics. It was after this policy ideas construction and reconstruction process that the chancellor and his allies repurposed policy ideas at the interim legislative hearings. When critiques arose, such as from consultants, he ‘killed’ reports privately (Barnes 2015b). In the case of the Las Vegas coalitions’ critiques, the chancellor half-​ heartedly validated them, but then bombarded legislators with reports, statistics, and graphs, and he and his consultants inevitably always concluded with ideas that additional state resources were needed to ‘improve’ student outcomes and workforce and training alignment. Both coalitions discourses sought to bind their policy ideas and statements to their preferred policy solution. The chancellor and his coalition’s discourse succeeded by convincing legislators that the existing higher education governing board should remain and additional state allocations were necessary, and eventually received, to strengthen student outcomes and workforce alignment. The Las Vegas coalitions’ discourse practices presented an alternative: a local college governing model; but they presented multiple ideas and statements as to the source of the problem, thus perhaps lessening their appeal to legislators who were hesitant to make dramatic structural changes. How policy ideas and statements originated varied. The chancellor’s preference was to maintain the power and structure of his state agency and hired consultants to legitimize his policy preferences. The Las Vegas coalition, on the other hand, originated their policy ideas through multiple means: public forums, constituent groups, and policy briefs. In this case, the chancellor’s political capital and strategic manoeuvring advantaged his policy preferences. But his success was also a function of who he represented, the residents of the northern region of the state, a region that was politically powerful until politician term limits began in 2010. The term limits meant the exit of powerful northern legislators who had wielded immense policy formulation and state allocation influence. Term limits shifted policy and political power to the southern part of the state –​Las Vegas –​as new legislators entered the legislature in larger numbers. This case is also an example of that transition point. While the coalition’s discourse practices mattered –​ presenting a clear, concise policy idea versus multiple ideas –​the policy actors, their political influence, and regional history with the legislature also played an important role in which policy solutions were taken up and adopted.

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Politics of policy solutions and discourse coalitions In this chapter, I have described the political messiness of one state’s attempt to change community college governing boards. By focusing on the actors, their discourse, policy ideas, and the origins of their proposals, the case study calls attention to how actors draw on their political power and resources to create and circulate their policy ideas and proposals. Policy actors and coalitions deployed policy statements to: (a) draw clear distinctions between competing problems and solutions; and (b) legitimize what actors, coalitions, and arguments were valid or invalid. Legislators in this case study responded to ambiguity by defaulting to policy ideas that were accessible, easily understood, and with little conflict, such as minor policy changes versus major structural changes to higher education governance. Through a close examination of coalition discursive practices, the case study has illuminated the power struggles between opposing coalitions –​mainly that hired consultants were used as evidence to legitimize policy ideas while simultaneously de-​legitimizing competing proposals. By hiring consultants and positioning his policy ideas before and during the legislative process, the chancellor defined policy problems and solutions, vetted the ideas before other elected bodies (for example, regents), and upcycled these ideas to state legislators. A key to the chancellor’s success was his ability to create coalitions and bind specific policy statements to coalition actors; in doing so they created ownership for their respective proposals. Moreover, his political power was derived from his historical role in higher education, existing relationships with key legislators, and the region of the state he represented. The Las Vegas coalition, on the other hand, consisted of multiple interest groups that were mainly community-​, city-​, and business-​based, thus creating a dimension of conflict and power dynamics before and during formal legislative hearings. Ideas and politics were interwoven, and in practice non-​linear, irrational, and representing struggles over influence between policy actors’ policy preferences. In policy studies, policy ideas and solutions have been examined through the prism of problems, an approach that has narrowed our ability to gain a rich understanding of how coalitions construct and support their policy ideas. Policy solutions may be constructed in the light of the public arena or less visible groups and individuals, as illustrated in the case study in this chapter. Once constructed, there are competitions between differing coalitions as to what solutions are legitimate and worthy of public deliberations. For instance, how does a proposal emerge as the accepted solution, and what roles do external

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consultants and state actors play? How and under what conditions does a solution proposal attract the attention of decision makers, and what is the relationship between a solution proposal and the coalitions who define it? This chapter has presented an example of which state agency actors were prominent policy actors and cemented coalitions based on the chancellor’s power over the coalition actors. Additional research highlighting examples in which state agency actors were unsuccessful in promoting their policy ideas and solutions can illuminate how coalition discourse practices shape policy outcomes. References Assembly Committee on Education, 79th Session (2017) Minutes of the Assembly Committee on Education, available at: www.leg.state.nv.us/​ Session/​79th2017/​Minutes/​Assembly/​ED/​Final/​719.pdf Barnes, B. (2015a) ‘CSN not planning to change campus name’, Las Vegas Review-​Journal, 11 January, available at: www.reviewjournal. com/​local/​local-​las-​vegas/​csn-​not-​planning-​to-​change-​campus-​name-​ despite-​city-​remarks/​ Barnes, B. (2015b) ‘Nevada higher ed officials quashed report critical of their management’, Las Vegas Review-​Journal, 27 June, available at: www.reviewjournal.com/​news/​education/​nevada-​higher-​ed-​ officials-​quashed-​report-​critical-​of-​their-​management/​ Brenner, N. (2002) ‘Decoding the newest “metropolitan regionalism” in the USA: a critical overview’, Cities, 19(1): 3–​21. Calabro, T., Gwaltney, J., Remington, R. and Lucey, C. (2015) ‘Time to set colleges free’, 7 July, available at: www.nevadaappeal.com/​ news/​opinion/​tony-​calabro-​john-​gwaltney-​ron-​remington-​carol-​ lucey-​time-​to-​set-​colleges-​free/​ Corbin Girnus, A. (2018) ‘Professors, donors make case for reining in NSHE’, Nevada Current, 12 December, available at: www.nevadacurrent.com/​ 2018/​12/​12/​professors-​donors-​make-​case-​for-​reining-​in-​nshe/​ Doughman, A. (2013) ‘NLV mayor makes good on promise, appoints advisory board to CSN Cheyenne campus’, Las Vegas Sun, 18 November, available at: https://​lasvegassun.com/​news/​2013/​nov/​ 18/​nlv-​mayor-​makes-​good-​promise-​appoints-​advisory-​boa/​ Durnova, A., Fischer, F. and Zittoun, P. (2016) ‘Discursive approaches to public policy: politics, argumentation, and deliberation’, in B.G. Peters and P. Zittoun (eds) Contemporary approaches to public policy, London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp 35–​56. Fischer, F. (2003) Reframing public policy: Discursive politics and deliberative practices, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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Hassenteufel, P. and Zittoun, P. (2014) ‘Why do policy change discourse succeed? Combining sociological and discursive analysis of policy actors strategies’, paper presented at the Policy & Politics Conference. Hearn, J.C. and Griswold, C.P. (1994) ‘State-​level centralization and policy innovation in US postsecondary education’, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 16(2): 161–​90. Hearn, J.C. and McLendon, M.K. (2012) ‘Governance research: from adolescence toward maturity’, in M.N. Bastedo (ed) The organization of higher education: Managing colleges for a new era, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, pp 45–​85. James, B. (2011) Fresh look at Nevada’s community colleges task force: Report to Nevada’s Chancellor, available at: www.wnc.edu/​wp-​content/​ uploads/​2016/​03/​final_​report.pdf Las Vegas Sun (2005) ‘Chancellor gets power to fire presidents’, 7 February, available at: https://​lasvegassun.com/​news/​2005/​feb/​07/​ chancellor-​gets-​power-​to-​fire-​college-​presidents/​ Martinez, M. (2017) ‘Deconsolidation of community colleges: understanding discourse coalitions and storylines in the policy process and deliberations’, paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education, Houston, TX, November. Martinez, M. (2019) ‘Public postsecondary governance in the United States: the political messiness of state policy solutions’, paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Public Policy Association, Montreal, Canada, 28 June. Martinez, M., Damore, D. and Lang, R. (2014) The case for a new college governance structure in Nevada: Integrating higher education with economic development, Las Vegas: The Lincy Institute, available at: www.unlv.edu/​sites/​default/​files/​50/​LincyInstitute-​ TheCaseForANewCollegeGovernanceStructureInNevada.pdf Messery, M. (2017) ‘Constitutional amendment would strip board of regents of their “fourth branch of government” status’, The Nevada Independent, 3 March, available at: https://​thenevadaindependent. com/a​ rticle/​constitutional-​amendment-​strip-​board-​regents-​fourth-​ branch-​government-​status Muro, M. (2011) Unify, regionalize, diversify: An economic development agenda for Nevada, Washington: The Brookings Institution, available at: www.brookings.edu /​ research/​ p apers/​ 2 011/​ 1 1/​ 14-​nevada-​economy

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Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau (2015) Community colleges (Bulletin No. 15-​4), Nevada: Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau, available at: www.leg.state.nv.us/​Division/​Research/​Publications/​ InterimReports/​2015/​Bulletin15-​04.pdf Nevada Senate Committee on Education, 77th Session (2013) Minutes of the Senate Committee on Education, available at: www.leg.state.nv.us/​ App/​NELIS/​REL/​77th2013/​Meeting/​2376?p=2002376 Nicholson-​Crotty, J. and Meier, K.J. (2003) ‘Politics, structure, and public policy: the case of higher education’, Educational Policy, 17(1): 80–​97. NSHE (Nevada System of Higher Education) (2014) Proceedings from Board of Regents Meeting, Nevada: NSHE, available at: http://​system. nevada.edu/​Nshe/​index.cfm/​administration/​board-​of-​regents/​ meeting-​minutes /​03062014/​ Powers, K.C. (2014) Overview of state constitutional matters relating to community colleges and higher education, Nevada: Nevada Legislature, available at: www.leg.state.nv.us/ ​ I nterim/ ​ 7 7th2013/ ​ E xhibits/​ CommCollegesGov Fund/​E031114C.pdf Razziz, R. (2014) ‘Implementing shared services in higher education’, University Business website, available at: https://​universitybusiness. com/​implementing-​shared-​services-​in-​higher-​education/​ Richardson, R.C. and de los Santos, G.E. (2001) ‘Statewide governance structures and two-​year colleges’, in B. Townsend and S. Twombley (eds) Community colleges: Policy in the future context, Westport: Ablex Publishing, pp 39–​56. Richardson, R., Jr. and Martinez, M. (2009) Policy and performance in American higher education: An examination of cases across state systems, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Rothwell, J. (2013) The hidden STEM economy, Washington: The Brookings Institution, available at: www.brookings.edu/​research/​ reports/​2013/​06/​10-​ stem-​economy-​rothwell Saladino, C. (2019) ‘The Las Vegas metropolitan revolution: a case study of public policy in the Nevada Legislature’, unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. SRI International (2012) States’ methods of funding higher education: Report for the Nevada Legislative Committee to Study Higher Education Funding in Nevada, Washington: SRI International, available at: www.sri. com/​ sites/​default/fi ​ les/b​ rochures/r​ evised-s​ ri_r​ eport_​ states_​methods_​of_​ funding_​higher_​education.pdf Tandberg, D.A. (2010) Politics, interest groups and state funding of public higher education, Research in Higher Education, 51(5):416–​450.

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Tandberg, D.A. and Anderson, C.K. (2012) ‘Where politics is a blood sport: restructuring state higher education governance in Massachusetts’, Educational Policy, 26(4): 564–​91. Zittoun, P. (2014) The political process of policymaking, London: Palgrave Macmillan.

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Policy Solution Ownership: Road-​Space Re-​Allocation as a New Approach to Urban Mobility Charlotte Halpern

This chapter analyses the emergence, construction, and trajectory of road-​space re-​allocation as a policy solution to urban mobility challenges. In a context of growing pressure on urban road networks and rapidly developing new technologies, a number of policy solutions have been introduced, including developing sustainable modes of transportation, promoting alternative land-​use patterns, encouraging the development of new road-​space functions, and going beyond transportation objectives in order to integrate a wider range of urban policy objectives (Anciaes and Jones 2020). Beyond this wide range of policy solutions to restrain car use, a new holistic approach to road-​space re-​allocation has recently emerged in policy discourses. Understood as a policy solution to be applied city-​wide, the dynamic management of urban roads is promoted globally as part of an agenda to shape the ‘future of urban roads’ and locally by a new generation of urban leaders. This approach is explicit in slogans such as ‘More urban life for all’ (City of Copenhagen, 2013), Streets for all (Transport for Greater Manchester, 2017), and the ‘15 minutes city’ (City of Paris, 2020). It is listed under the ‘4 emerging concepts that could transform cities’ by the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, a global think tank seeking to create more prosperous and liveable cities (Maassen and Galvin 2019). More fundamentally, it aims at scaling up from a

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myriad of micro-​level experimentations (Castàn Broto and Bulkeley 2013) to promote a standardized, metropolitan-​wide approach to the negative externalities resulting from car-​centric urban development and density. How did this new understanding of road-​space re-​allocation emerge in policy discourses? Can it be traced back to the role of specific policy entrepreneurs with an interest in claiming ownership over a specific policy solution? To what extent does claiming policy solution ownership and the authority to oversee its implementation contribute to re-​politicizing the issue at stake? Focusing on the concept of ‘policy solution ownership’, understood as establishing the authority to name a social problem and bind it to a specific policy solution (Gusfield 1989, p 433), this chapter contributes to the book’s main argument in three different ways. First, it examines how and by whom policy solution ownership is built and how it contributes to redefining the boundaries of a given problem in a highly competitive policy environment. Second, and following the work by Callon (1986) on problematization and interessement, it accounts for how this policy solution fosters improbable alliances in a highly fragmented policy context. Third, it discusses the role of framing in shaping the subsequent trajectory of this policy solution (Rochefort and Cobb, 1994)1 across different urban governance contexts. Drawing on extensive empirical work on sustainable urban mobility transitions in European cities,2 the chapter argues that policy solution ownership has been established through the continued efforts made by a coalition of policy entrepreneurs to transform a policy solution fitted for all seasons into an easily transferable set of standardized tools and techniques, aimed at shifting the attention away from car-​use reduction in the name of fairness and modernity. It begins with how road-​space re-​allocation emerged as a prominent policy solution, it continues with how it was coupled with the issue of urban mobility transitions through a set of standardized techniques and procedures as much as by a restrictive understanding of the problem at stake, and it examines the extent to which it was implemented in two different urban contexts, namely Malmö (Sweden) and Lisbon (Portugal).

Road-​space re-​allocation as a policy solution fitted for all seasons Road-​space re-​allocation counts as one of the most striking recent international trends in sustainable urban planning. The widespread use of this policy solution is linked to the idea that the purpose of

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urban road networks is not to solely enable traffic anymore but also to accommodate a wider range of transport modes and activities. It is strongly connected to the development of new vehicles, services, and technologies in transport as well as the efforts made by urban elites worldwide to raise their city’s profile through place-​making strategies (Anciaes and Jones 2020). In the following paragraphs, the relationship between road-​space re-​allocation as a policy solution and the framing of the issue at stake and how it is articulated, by whom, and how is examined in detail.

Road-​space re-​allocation: drifting away from the car-​centric city? As is often the case with proposals pertaining to the urban sustainable planning agenda, the binding process between a broad discourse and concrete policy solutions is highly ambiguous and marked by a series of tensions (Gandy 2015). Road-​space re-​allocation is not, strictly speaking, a new idea. Its emergence as a legitimate policy solution to the growing variety of interactions taking place in urban roads has been gradual.3 It was triggered in the 1970s under the pressure of anti-​road movements, citizen groups, and climate change platforms seeking to denounce the negative impacts of car dependency on safety, air quality, and noise (Docherty and Shaw 2008). These groups actively supported, first locally, then globally, the development of a multidimensional approach to the management of urban road networks, one that reconsiders the priority given to motorized traffic in order to accommodate a wider range of policy issues, vehicles, users, and activities. This evolution in transport also resulted from the pressure exerted by a new generation of architects and urban planners to support a shift away from buildings towards public space, people, and liveability (Gehl 1971; 2010). While a large number of stakeholders acknowledge that traffic enabling is not the sole purpose of the urban road space anymore, its translation into concrete policy initiatives has given rise to epic institutional and political battles, in which the champions of sustainable transport measures did not always emerge victorious (Davis and Altshuler 2018). This encouraged piecemeal and gradual approaches to road-​space re-​allocation, rooted in experiments and tactical urbanism.4 In its most radical understanding, reflected in the use of disruptive action repertoires,5 road-​space re-​allocation challenges the right to mobility and calls for a profound change in consumption practices and lifestyles (Urry 2000).

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A policy solution to an ill-​defined problem Following policy implementation research (Wolman 1981), this implementation gap is often accounted for: first, due to the fragmentation of interests when it comes to urban road futures, including various groups of users, such as cyclists, pedestrians, car users, public transport users, businesses, and shop owners;6 and second, because it contributes to redefining existing boundaries between local administrations, politicians and technicians, and levels of government. Yet this implementation gap can also be accounted for due to road-​ space re-​allocation being a policy solution to an ill-​defined problem. In this case, its success is best accounted for thanks to the ambiguous agreements it allows (Palier 2005) and the variety of purposes it serves. To paraphrase the expression used by Hood (1991) to report on the development of New Public Management, road-​space re-​allocation is a policy solution fitted for all seasons. It has justified a variety of policy initiatives across cities, ranging from planting a few trees to developing bus priority lanes and separate cycle lanes, pedestrianizing streets, and restricting access to some parts of cities through congestion charging (Anciaes and Jones 2020). More fundamentally, the finality it serves and the meaning it holds for public policy actors –​technicians, politicians, and managers –​are defined in action according to individual beliefs about the right to mobility and locally defined contingencies. As such, it is used as an ideal recipe for growth, sustainable urban transitions, liveability, and digitization (Halpern et al 2019). For each of these purposes, and sometimes concomitantly, road-​space re-​allocation is coupled with traffic monitoring devices, road investments to favour sustainable transport modes, urban design techniques, and smart city technologies. The choice and the combination of policy instruments are, in parts only, shaped by framing and voluntarist political discourses (Lascoumes and Le Galès 2007). New policy solutions are uneasily translated into existing administrative structures and policy documents. Only in some cities such as Amsterdam and London,7 where transport authorities enjoyed sufficient power to regulate the urban road network and sufficient capacity to overcome interests’ fragmentation, was road-​ space re-​allocation transformed into a large-​scale urban policy agenda aimed at achieving a significant reduction in car mileage and use. In both cities, a new street typology framework aimed at prioritizing, respectively, carbon dioxide (CO2) emission reduction and pedestrians was introduced. Their effective and systematic implementation was slowed down locally by resistance from shopkeepers, commuters, and

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retailers, and at the city level through the inability to reach a consensus among a wide variety of road users. This brief overview suggests that the rapid diffusion of road-​space re-​ allocation as a policy solution stems less from the ability of its promoters to define, qualify, and analyse the issue at stake, than from the opening of multiple opportunities to reassign a meaning to a flexible solution through successive arrangements. More precisely, in this ill-​defined understanding, road-​space re-​allocation is linked with four sustainable urban planning megatrends –​on top of the older tradition of individual city specialisms in urban governance: first, the shift towards low-​carbon and sustainable mobility as part of the climate change agenda, and the need to accommodate for the new vehicles and modes of transport (for example, segregated lanes, charging points, and so on); second, the search for alternative deliberative fora and voting procedures in order to allocate the expected benefits of the hub function and the resulting costs and externalities;8 third, the rapid development of sharing-​economy-​related platforms in the production and delivery of mobility services, also linked to the growing role of new entrants and business models; and fourth, the development of a more international agenda, increasingly bringing forth general issues of sustainable urban development planning, implementation delivery, policy capacities, metropolitan reforms, and the race for technology. In this context, the emergence of an all-​encompassing, global policy agenda promoting the systematic re-​allocation of urban road space constitutes a surprising and recent new development.

Claiming ownership to overcome fragmentation By contrast to previous initiatives focused on traffic mitigation and car-​use reduction, the attention of the transport planning policy community recently shifted away from naming the problem and its causes to focusing on the policy solution itself. Examining how ownership over this policy solution is claimed, established and by whom helps make sense of this binding process. More precisely, it relies on two two mechanisms that are explanatory of collective action: problematization and interessement9 (Callon 1986).

The emergence of a one-​size-​fits-​all policy solution: problematization Assuming that urban road networks will face increased pressure in the future due to the rapid development of mobility technologies

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and services, a new approach to road-​space re-​allocation proposes to automatize the management of urban road space rather than establishing rights through regulatory or policy changes. The car and its drivers are no longer designated as the main target groups, and attention shifts towards making an extensive use of the urban road space, and more specifically the curbside10 on which parking remains otherwise prohibited in the largest share of European cities for most parts of the day (Morgan 2020). Enabling access to curbsides for a new range of activities and services11 is rooted in the idea that it avoids reducing capacity on road space itself. In this understanding, road-​space re-​ allocation puts increased pressure on authorities to permit curbside parking, particularly in areas where there is no convenient off-​street car park. Taking into account the fact that private cars spend at least 96 per cent of their time parked (Mardsen et al 2019), it proposes commodifying this somewhat forgotten urban space and transforming it into a strategic asset. This reframing of the issue at stake also reflects a change of those promoting it. In this new understanding, road-​space re-​allocation is not championed anymore by grassroots initiatives, environmental groups, or prominent political figures, but by leading consultancy firms and prominent experts, in partnership with the transport industry. More precisely, this problematization process is rooted in the coupling between a technical solution (a traffic simulation software), a standard road space (the curb), and a global policy community. The precise mechanisms through which this process operates are examined successively. First, ever-​more sophisticated digital tools and enhanced data analytics provide precise information about the location, time, and triggers of exacerbated pressure. Unlike those tools appraising complete road flows to provide real-​time information and achieve congestion reduction, microscopic traffic planning tools are effective at replicating a range of modes and behaviours on the transport network and increasingly sensitive to micro-​managing the use of road space in a dense urban environment (Härri et al 2006). The German-​based PTV group, in particular, developed the Vissim software to enable simulating interactions between motorized traffic and other road users.12 It invests important resources in continuously developing it to easily incorporate new road functions, types, and vehicles. By making traffic planning more urban while at the same time ensuring some level of standardization, this technical tool allows policy makers worldwide to commodify segments of the urban road networks depending on demand and to regulate access according to automatically set priorities.13 For those policy makers wishing to

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link traffic regulation and safety with climate change adaptation, this software could also serve long-​term overarching goals, such as carbon emission reduction and air-​quality improvement measures.14 Second, this standardized approach to road-​space re-​allocation was taken up by a set of actors as an opportunity to decouple debates about street uses from ‘wicked’ issues such as levels of density and car use. As part of its development strategy, the PTV group successfully managed to reach out to global knowledge actors to transform this traffic planning tool into an urban policy solution, that is, the dynamic management of curbsides.15 Bringing together a diverse set of stakeholders from across the transport industry, it convened a workshop hosted by the International Transport Forum (ITF),16 during which it proposed focusing on the strategic role of curbsides as ‘interaction spaces’ or the ‘interface between the transport functions of the street and its other uses’ (ITF 2018, p 11). The choice to focus on curbs, considered a less intuitive and somewhat forgotten urban space, appealed to a wide range of actors in search of a more neutral approach to road-​space re-​ allocation (Barrett et al 2020). By contrast to highly politicized debates about car-​use reduction, the focus on curbside management helped road-​space re-​allocation become commensurable again and, to some extent, governable. It draws on an automatized approach to road-​space re-​allocation. It is rooted in the use of open data, an evidence-​based approach to time-​varying needs, and equal opportunities for all uses and users. All of this accounts for curbside management being promoted as a guarantee for transparent decision making. Lastly, unlike previous understandings of road-​space re-​allocation, dynamic curbside management purposefully seeks to depoliticize debates about road-​space re-​allocation to speed up the development of digital services and automation in transport. Alternative dimensions of the problem were made visible and the blame was shifted towards micro shared-​mobility providers, with discursive strategies highlighting the need to regulate this space to return it to the community and avoid anarchic uses. In this context, discourses are less marked by place making and individual city specialisms and more by a common definition and a set of standardized methodologies and technologies. More specifically, local authorities are urged to ‘code the curb’, by collecting and digitizing data, cooperating with technology providers as part of pilot studies, and identifying those segments of the urban road networks where public space value can be maximized. All in all, this set of technical tools allows a shift of the problem away from car dependency to the need to accommodate a growing number of users, activities, and functions under a one-​size-​fits-​all urban agenda.

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The structuring of a large policy community: interessement In so far as it is now framed as a valuable urban asset, road-​space re-​ allocation emerges as a policy solution aimed at developing a large-​ scale, standardized reorganization of street uses. As such, it contributes to the structuring of a policy ownership coalition, which brings together diverse types of actors, including traffic engineering software developers, the transport industry, architects, and urban planners. This policy proposal appealed primarily to the wider transport industry, confirming the process of interessement under way and contributing to further stabilizing the problematization of the issue at stake. This includes car manufacturers (Michelin and Volvo), road constructers (Vinci), and engineering firms (Siemens, Bosch, and Cisco) wishing to reinvent themselves as sustainable mobility leaders by developing car-​sharing services and privatizing parking spaces through the establishment of charging points for electric vehicles.17 Moreover, global consultancy firms, such as ARUP,18 also developed their own ‘KerbFlex’ proposal to transform fixed curbsides into ‘dynamic, technologically sophisticated spaces that change function throughout the day and week in response to local policy and user demand’ (ARUP 2018, p 5). Using London and the Cheapside street to develop a feasibility study, ARUP’s findings demonstrated how the potentialities of the Vissim traffic simulation tool could be systematically applied to support a large-​scale implementation of the Mayor of London’s transport strategy. In lieu of highlighting its potential in terms of car-​use reduction, the report highlighted the benefits to be gained from dynamic road-​space management for a wide set of actors usually holding contradictory interests. The terms of the debate were adjusted to include claims about ‘fairness’, meaning ensuring the right to mobility without excluding car use, and about ‘modernity’, meaning the development of automation (ITF 2018) and a new generation of low-​carbon vehicles (Ricci et al 2017).19 Far from being neutral, this new understanding was expected to overcome entrenched discussions between users’ and modes’ representative organizations and to accommodate new entrants such as shared mobility providers. By contrast, policy solutions favouring more stringent approaches to car-​use reduction such as congestion charging or carbon tax,20 which used to dominate policy debates about road-​space re-​allocation during the previous decade (Banister 2005), were pushed back to the benches of the minority.21 Framing the

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debate in terms of fairness also enabled some unintended new policy developments, such as reaching out to other transport users from the freight, retail and tourism industries to participate in the global and local debate about the future of urban roads. The rapid development of e-​commerce and new forms of supply-​chain management in the logistics and retail industries did, in effect, contribute to making the urban dimension of freight traffic more visible. In this context, dynamic curbside management also appealed to these actors as part of efforts to prevent the adoption of city-​specific access rules and road-​space re-​allocation initiatives.22 Interestingly, the wider urban and transport planning professional community also embraced dynamic curbside management as a desirable policy solution to ensure access to public space and street activities (NLA 2019). The search for standardized techniques has not been restricted to the use of Vissim, and alternative software, more sensitive to the built environment and the local geography, was explored in the context of policy debates about land-​use, property development, and shared spaces. There again, the shift towards a set of standardized tools and techniques allows a move away from contentious debates about density. Professional discourses sought to convince politicians and the real-​estate development industry to focus on street uses as part of an agenda for wellbeing, liveability and the ‘human-​centric city’.23 The terms of the debate were consequently adjusted to include claims about ‘fairness’ –​less so about ‘modernity’ –​to highlight the potential of dynamic curbside management for pedestrians and cities outside Europe and North America. In the former case, discursive strategies about ‘fairness’ appealed to the regime of social justice understood in terms of safety, gender, and age.24 In the latter case, financing issues were further examined as part of efforts to promote this policy solution worldwide.25 Overall, the coupling between a highly heterogeneous set of actors and this new –​holistic and standardized –​approach to road-​space re-​allocation is strongly rooted in the ability to move away from contentious debates about car use and density. In this understanding, road-​space re-​allocation offers unprecedented opportunities to those among the urban planning professional community advocating a more sensitive and holistic approach to urban design as well as to those among the transport industry and users’ representatives who question the economic value of public space and envisage their commodification. Other benefits result from framing the debate in terms of fairness, such as to abandon car-​restrictive initiatives and include other industries –​freight, retail, and tourism –​in the debate about the future of urban roads.

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In the next section, the willingness of policy solution owners to challenge who has the authority to manage and implement –​in brief, to govern –​urban roads futures is examined into more detail.

Disputing policy ownership across multiple spaces In this new understanding of road-​space re-​allocation, the diffusion of this policy solution is expected to have an impact on the subsequent trajectory of policy problems. Drawing on empirical findings from in-​ depth case studies about road-​space re-​allocation in Malmö (Sweden) and Lisbon (Portugal),26 this section examines the extent to which framing affects the subsequent trajectory of policy problems. Following Rochefort and Cobb (1993), it assumes that existing power relations are challenged through claims over policy solution ownership. Both Malmö and Lisbon were hard hit by the 2008 financial crisis. Since then, population growth, commuter traffic, and a booming real-​ estate market has led to increased pressure on the urban road network. Large-​scale urban development projects, aspiring both at regenerating the city centre in Lisbon and pursuing the development of the western harbour area in Malmö, have offered an opportunity to urban policy entrepreneurs to draw on international policy debates about road-​ space re-​allocation to promote alternative approaches to congestion, safety, and accessibility. In both cities, this led to vivid controversies about problem definition and preferred technical solutions. In the case of Malmö, these disputes were maintained behind closed doors –​ both administrative and with specific clientele –​whereas in the case of Lisbon, the politically led controversies resulted in open disputes.

Technicians and managers resisting city-​wide road-​ space re-​allocation in Malmö Dynamic curbside management was introduced in Malmö by the strategic urban planning unit to promote a standardized approach to road-​space re-​allocation. It met with strong resistance within the city’s administration due to its political implications. This approach would have led, in effect, to re-​prioritizing urban transport policy goals, to the detriment of safety, which had been established as a major, overarching political priority since the early 1990s as part of the so-​called Vision Zero strategy. Unlike road-​space re-​allocation, safety issues met with a large political consensus, and allowed tapping into national policy funds and knowledge resources.27 Traffic planners and managers thus challenged this new understanding of road-​space re-​allocation to

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achieve road safety goals, as opposed to existing policy solutions to manage traffic and raise awareness among users’ groups. Moreover, adopting a city-​wide car-​use reduction strategy was expected to spark a resurgence of sociopolitical conflicts, as opposed to policy solutions consisting of adding new road capacity or micro-​managing conflicts according to a ‘first come, first served basis’. Considerable efforts were also committed by technicians and managers working in the municipal administration for the dispute to remain within the discrete spaces of discussions within and between departments. This preferred strategy was justified in three different ways. First, on-​street measures meant that other sources of funding than those falling under road safety measures would be needed. In practical terms, technicians and traffic planners would have needed the support of their managers to put the issue on the political agenda and seek the proposed measure to be adopted by the municipal council. Second, this would have required the support of the urban planning department to revise existing planning regulations about density levels and to replace existing arrangements with developers and business owners’ associations about on-​street parking and curbside management.28 Third, a systematic road-​space re-​allocation strategy would not have been possible without a car programme, including stringent policy initiatives to limit car use together with a set of mitigation measures. Policy debates about problem definition –​safety as opposed to dynamic road-​space management –​and the selection of technical solutions remained within the discrete spaces of discussions within and between departments. The Vissim software was rejected in preference of in-​house modelling systems and traffic regulation tools. However, a transversal working group was set up under the leadership of the strategic urban planning unit to develop a pilot study as part of discussions about redeveloping Nyhamnen, the new extension to the western harbour area. Bringing together managers from several administrative departments and professional backgrounds, real-​estate developers, mobility service providers, and business owners, it proposed using the Vissim software and the methodology advocated by curbside management promoters –​ to ‘code the curb’ –​to explore alternative policy solutions to levels of density and to prioritize between transport modes.

Strengthening urban policy capacities through dynamic road-​space management Road-​space re-​allocation was brought onto the urban agenda in Lisbon by the newly elected mayor29 and his advisers with the support

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of the ruling majority.30 The shift away from car use was considered instrumental to enhancing the city’s place-​making strategy and as part of a large-​scale urban regeneration programme to attract international investments and visitors. Moreover, in a context in which the city could rely on unprecedented levels of political and institutional support from the national executive,31 the new administration set out to change the way transport functions in the city as a whole and to strengthen the city’s ability to govern the urban road network vis-​à-​vis national authorities and expert agencies. In order to do so, the use of external resources and policy solutions was considered instrumental and justified in the absence of knowledge about mobility patterns. The expertise about urban mobility in Lisbon was described, by both national experts and local politicians, as old-​fashioned, car-​centric, and altogether unfitted to address urban mobility challenges.32 At the national level, little to no attention had been given to the urban dimension of mobility and transport.33 Local authorities across Portugal could only rely on traffic estimates and semi-​automated systems for managing traffic signals. Within the city’s Mobility Department, traffic planning and management was mainly informed through the data collected according to national priorities, namely safety and levels of congestion on highways, and it kept no record of mobility demand. No urban analytic tools were available to make sense of recent developments in urban growth, tourism, and the use of non-​motorized transport. In this context, road-​space re-​allocation was considered instrumental. First, it justified drawing on expertise outside the Mobility Department, namely urban planners and architects working in the Urban Planning and the Environment Departments, to draft the city’s sustainable urban mobility plan. Unlike previous traffic plans, this strategic mobility planning document aligned on urban development goals,34 to improve air quality, re-​allocate road space for sustainable transport modes, and regenerate public space in the inner city centre. Drawing on European Union policies and funds, road-​space re-​allocation was identified as the cornerstone around which the city’s mobility strategy would be reorganized. Second, automated data collection was favoured to more traditional tools such as onsite identification and surveys. Working in close relationship with aggregating platforms, such as City Mapper, and local universities, the municipality promoted the use of open data and integrated operation centres to ensure the development of data analytics tools. A series of memoranda of agreement and semi-​ formal working groups were set up with transport service providers to promote data sharing in exchange for a hands-​off approach to curbside management. Third, incentivizing forms of policy instrumentation

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were systematically preferred over more stringent policy tools.35 This approach sparked strong criticism against a strategy that favours neither cyclists, nor the reduction of environmental impact, nor accessibility for older people. Such criticism enabled the Socialist majority to adjust its discursive strategy to strategically shift the blame towards the national government and the need to strengthen local transport governance. Examining the trajectory of a policy solution across two different urban contexts shows the need to go beyond the play of policy politics to make sense of the relationship between spaces of dispute and whether or not the solution is adopted and effectively implemented. In both cities, this framing challenges existing policy priorities and access (Anciaes and Jones 2020) in order to enhance liveability, health, and wellbeing (Appleyard et al 2014). It also challenges existing boundaries between local administrations, between politicians and technicians, and between public authorities and non-​state actors.

Conclusion This chapter contributes to this edited volume by exploring the process by which ownership is claimed over a policy solution. Following Callon (1986), it sheds light on the role of two intertwined mechanisms –​ problematization and interessement –​to account for the process by which a policy solution is coupled with a coalition of policy entrepreneurs, and how it contributes, in return, to reframing the boundaries of the issue at stake. As a policy solution rooted in a holistic, neutral, and commodified approach to street uses, dynamic curbside management was instrumental to a large set of actors to promote a depoliticized and standardized understanding of road-​space management. Later efforts to include new claims of social justice and fairness to this global policy agenda confirmed the robustness of the relationship between this policy solution and its owners. Yet when it comes to its diffusion in two different urban contexts, findings challenge the assumption that framing only establishes who has the authority to define, manage, and implement it. This process is far from being automatic; and it is not solely based in ‘in-​action’ dynamics and accounted for by discursive strategies. In both cities, regimes of debates about the feasibility and efficiency of the proposed policy solution, matter less than whether or not they offer an opportunity to maintain (in the case of Malmö) and increase (in the case of Lisbon) leadership over the management of the urban road network vis-​à-​ vis, respectively, politicians and bureaucrats. These findings confirm the added value of a comparative research design to examine the

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long-​term transformative effects of policy solution ownership on policy preferences and logics for collective action. Notes 1

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Their assumption on the impact of framing on the subsequent trajectory of policy problems. The financial support of the MORE project (Multi-​modal Optimisation for Road-​space in Europe), funded under the European Union’s H2020 research and innovation programme (grant no 769276), is gratefully acknowledged. The author is thankful to the interviewees, to partners in the MORE consortium for their support, and to J. McArthur, J. Thijs, and F. Sarti for their contribution to the research done on the governance dimension of road-​space re-​allocation (Halpern et al, 2019). The author is also grateful for the comments by the book’s editors and participants to the session organized at the ICPP Montreal, June 2019, on the draft typescript of this chapter. All views are those of the author. This draws on the work done with Peter Jones and Jenny McArthur on streets as an eco-​system as part of the MORE project. Transport shares many similarities with other policy domains (for example, the built environment, energy transitions, and so on) (Castàn Broto and Bulkeley 2013). Such as those used by Extinction Rebellion to denounce the climate emergency (Saunders et al 2020). ‘Only pedestrian representatives can claim to speak in the name of 100%’ (interview with a non-​governmental organisation, Lisbon, 9 October 2019). See also the MORE technical workshop about street-​space contestation, Brussels, 4 November 2019. In accordance with the interviewees, the dataset collected as part of the MORE project was anonymized. Respectively, the woonerf and the healthy streets approach, the latter published in 2012 by Transport for London (2012), and followed in 2014 by the street types approach. Spatially and economically, as well as between class, gender, age, and ethnicity. Understood as actions by which an entity attempts to impose and stabilize the identity of other actors by re-​problematizing the issue at stake (Callon 1986, p 204). Following the extensive work done as part of the Southwark district’s Draft Kerbside Strategy (Southwark Council 2017), it refers to the space on the public highway that is next the footpath (that is, at the curb). This includes both the carriageway and the nearside pavement space (MORE project Kick-​off meeting, London, 27 November 2018, and contribution to the group interview, London, 8 May 2019). Such as bus stops, cycle and carparking, waste collection, servicing and deliveries, street seating, and tree planting. Vissim is a micro-​level and multimodal traffic simulation software. It allows the consideration of an extensive number of users and the prioritization of strategic public services, such as fire protection and medical assistance. Even though the terminology used for curbside management is inconsistent across countries, these regulations and enforcement procedures seek to balance the necessity for the place functions of a street with that of movement functions (Morgan 2020, p 9).

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The vast majority of Vissim software users –​some 16,500 policy makers around the world in 2019 –​mainly restrict its use to traffic regulation and safety (MORE project meetings, Paris, 25 May 2019 and Lisbon, 11 October 2019). That is, the management of curb-​adjacent space according to time-​varying needs and the demands of different uses and users (Civitas ReVeAL 2020). The ITF at the Organisation for Economic Co-​operation and Development (OECD) is an intergovernmental organization which acts as a think tank for transport policy. Interview with the Sunfleet office in Malmö (24 May 2019). Sunfleet is a car-​ sharing company owned and established by the Volvo Group in 2017 to develop mobility services in Nordic countries. The strategic role of curbsides in the context of Michelin’s redevelopment efforts was presented on several occasions by the Head of the Smart City Programme, including at the conference organized by the Vinci-​owned think tank Leonard in Paris, on 25 November 2019. A UK-​based multinational professional services firm focusing on all aspects of the built environment. In the European union context, these policy debates take place during the preparatory works for urban vehicle access regulations (Ricci et al 2017). To this, one should add parking restrictions, circulation plans, and zoning measures such as low-​and zero-​emission zones. The shift has been particularly visible in the UK. Following the example set by Greater London in 2003, congestion charging was promoted nationwide through a nominated programme grant available for local authorities willing to submit a proposal. Attempts to develop such schemes sparked massive protests and political resistance, culminating in the failed referendum in Greater Manchester in 2008 (Tochtermann 2008). Technical workshop on strategies aimed at shaping road-​space re-​allocation, MORE project, Brussels, 4 November 2019 (Halpern et al 2020). See the set of guidelines for street design advocating for a fundamental change in the role of streets in US cities (NACTO-​GDCI 2020, p 4). See the set of guidelines co-​produced by the Gehl Architects office and Siemens (Thayne and Andersen 2017). As part of a joint endeavour between C40 cities’ network, the World Resource Institute, Siemens, and McKinsey (Canales et al 2018). This dataset consists of desk research (for example, policy documents and media clippings), group interviews with policy makers and non-​governmental actors, and a series of face-​to-​face interviews. In Lisbon, the fieldwork took place in January, March and the autumn of 2019, and in Malmö in January and May 2019. Some 25 people were met in each city (Halpern et al 2019). The content of the following quote was confirmed throughout the fieldwork carried out in Malmö: “Traffic safety we have been doing it for a long time, it’s easy to get politicians to listen to the arguments. … In Sweden we have a Vision Zero; no one should be overlooking this guideline. I think this is something everybody is working towards, and after it’s been stated so clearly on the national level, it makes it much easier for cities to say: ‘This is obviously something we need to focus on. And all the political parties are working for this’ ” (interview with a traffic planner working with the City of Malmö, 9 January 2019). Interviews with property developers, Malmö, 23 May 2020. Fernando Medina, from the Socialist Party, elected in 2015.

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31

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34 35

The following two quotes reflect the strong level of political consensus: “We have politicians that have a clear vision of what they want from the city” (interview with the mayor’s office, Lisbon, 8 November 2019); “They want to reduce the number of cars entering into the cities. This is the main political target of this executive” (interview with a non-​governmental organisation representative, 9 October 2019). António Costa, who had been the previous mayor of Lisbon (2007–​15) and also a member of the Socialist Party, became the country’s Prime Minister in 2015. This was further exacerbated due to the public sector hiring freeze, initiated following the 2008 financial crisis (Group interview, Lisbon, 13 March 2019). Group interview, Lisbon, 13 March 2019 and an interview with two experts at the National Civil Engineering Laboratory (LNEC), 11 November 2019. Plano Diretor Municipal (CML 2012). Interview with a non-​governmental organisation, 9 October 2019 and an interview with a cycling association, 8 November 2019.

References Anciaes, P. and Jones, P. (2020) ‘Transport policy for liveability –​valuing the impacts on movement, place, and society’, Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 132: 157–​73. Appleyard, B., Ferrell, C.E., Carroll, M.A. and Taecker, M. (2014) ‘Toward livability ethics: a framework to guide planning, design, and engineering decisions’, Transportation Research Record, 2403(1): 62–​71. ARUP (2018) Roads for the future: FlexKerbs, London: ARUP. Banister, D. (2005) Unsustainable transport, London: Routledge. Barrett, S., Wills, J. and Washington-​Ihieme, M. (2020) Reclaim the kerb, London: Centre for London, available at: www.centreforlondon.org/​ Callon, M. (1986) ‘Some elements of a sociology of translation: domestication of the scallops and the fishermen of St Brieuc Bay’, in J. Law (ed) Power, action and belief: A new sociology of knowledge? London: Routledge, pp 196–​223. Canales, D., Bouton, S., Trimble, E., Thayne, J., Da Silva, L., Shastry, S., Knupfer, S. and Powell, M. (2018) Connected urban growth: Public-​ private collaborations for transforming urban mobility, London and Washington: Coalition for Urban Transitions, available at: http://​ newclimateeconomy.net/​ Castàn Broto, V. and Bulkeley, H. (2013) ‘Maintaining climate change experiments: urban political ecology and the everyday reconfiguration of urban infrastructure’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 37(6): 1934–​48. Civitas ReVeAL (2020) International online workshop on barriers to dynamic kerbside management, WSP, Sweden, 15 October. CML (Câmara Municipal do Lisboa) (2012) Plano Diretor Municipal, Lisboa: CML, available at: www.cm-​lisboa.pt/​viver/​urbanismo/​ planeamento-​urbano/​plano-​diretor-​municipal

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Davis, D.E. and Altshuler, A. (eds) (2018) Transforming urban transport, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Docherty, I. and Shaw, J. (2008) Traffic jam: Ten years of ‘sustainable’ transport in the UK, Bristol: Policy Press. Gandy, M. (2015) ‘From urban ecology to ecological urbanism: an ambiguous trajectory’, Area, 47(2): 150–​4. Gehl, J. (1971) Life between buildings, London: Island Press. Gehl, J. (2010) Cities for people, London: Island Press. Gusfield, J.R. (1981) The culture of public problems, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Gusfield, J.R. (1989) ‘Constructing the ownership of social problems: fun and profit in the welfare state’, Social Problems, 36(5): 431–​41. Hood, C. (1991) ‘A public management for all seasons?’, Public Administration, 69: 3–​19. Halpern, C., McArthur, J. and Thijs, J. (2019) Road space re-​ allocation, organizational, institutional and political dimensions: MORE project: Deliverable D2.1, Paris: Sciences Po, available at: www. roadspace.eu/​ Halpern, C., McArthur, J., Sarti, F. and Thijs, J. (2020) Road space re-​allocation, streets as contested spaces: MORE project: Deliverable D2.3, Paris: Sciences Po, available at: www.roadspace.eu/​ Härri, J., Fethi, F. and Bonnet, C. (2006) Mobility models for vehicular ad hoc networks: A survey and taxonomy, Research Report RR-​06-​168, Sophia-​Antipolis: EURECOM. ITF (International Transport Forum) (2018) The shared city: Managing the kerb, Paris: OECD Publishing, available at: www.itf-​oecd.org/​ Lascoumes, P. and Le Galès, P. (2007) ‘Understanding public policy through its instruments’, Governance, 20(1): 1–​21. Maassen, A. and Galvin, M. (2019) ‘Four emerging concepts that could transform cities’, blog series on urban transformations, World Resource Institute website, 23 July, available at: www.wri.org/​blog/​ 2019/​07/​4-​emerging-​concepts-​could-​transform-​cities Marsden, G., Anable, J., Bray, J., Seagriff, E. and Spurling, N. (2019) Shared mobility: Where now? Where next? The second report of the Commission on Travel Demand, Oxford: Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions, available at: www.creds.ac.uk/​ Morgan, S. (2020) Road space re-​allocation, the regulatory dimension: MORE project: Deliverable 2.2, London: Buchanan Computing, available at: www.roadspace.eu/​

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NACTO-G ​ DCI (2020) The global street design guide, New York: National Association of Transportation Officials, available at: https://​ globaldesigningcities.org/​ NLA (New London Architecture) (2019) Future streets, London: New London Architecture. Palier, B. (2005) ‘Ambiguous agreement, cumulative change’, in K. Thelen (ed) Beyond continuity: Institutional change in advanced political economies, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 127–​44. Ricci, A., Gaggi, S., Enei, R., Tomassini, M., Gargani, F., Di Stefano, A. and Gaspari E. (2017) Study on urban access vehicle regulation: Final report, Brussels: European Commission, Directorate General for Mobility and Transport, available at: https://​ec.europa.eu/​ Rochefort, D.A. and Cobb, R.W. (eds) (1994) The politics of problem definition, Lawrence: University Press of Kansas. Saunders, C., Doherty, B. and Hayes, G. (2020) A new climate movement? Extinction Rebellion’s activists in profile, CUSP Working Paper No 25, Guildford: Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity. Southwark Council (2017) Southwark’s draft kerbside strategy, London: Southwark Council, available at: https://​consultations. southwark.gov.uk/​ Thayne, J. and Andersen, C.S. (2017) Streets ahead, Copenhagen: Gehl Architects. Tochtermann, L. (2008) Congestion charging: A tool to tackle congestion in UK cities? London: Centre for Cities, available at: www.centreforcities. org/​ Transport for London (2012) Healthy streets for London, London: Transport for London. Urry, J. (2000) Sociology beyond societies: Mobilities for the 21st century, London: Routledge. Wolman, H. (1981) ‘The determinants of program success and failure’, Journal of Public Policy, 1(4): 433–​64.

190

Index Page numbers in italic type refer to figures and photographs; those in bold type refer to tables. References to endnotes show both the page number and the note number (231n3). A acceptability, social  124–​7, 129, 133 action/​activism, disruptive  175 actor network theory  118 actors  see policy actors adaptation, cultural  140–​1, 142 Ademe (Agence de l’environnement et de la maitrise de l’énergie)  120, 131, 132 ‘demonstrator fund’  120, 135n4 advocacy  106 Advocacy Coalition Framework  5 affirmative statements  159 ageing, of populations  23, 32 agricultural policy, US  45–​67 Agriculture Committee  50, 51, 54, 56, 58, 59 and binding process  13, 47–​50, 58, 63 and commodity support  57, 64, 65 and decoupling  13, 51–​62, 63 and deficiency payments  52–​5, 56, 64 and direct income payments  46, 56–​7, 58, 59, 61–​2, 63 and farm programmes  45, 50, 53, 54, 56, 63–​6 and farm safety net  54, 56, 59 farm safety net  60, 61, 62, 63 and incentives  46, 53 and income support  52, 56, 57, 58–​9, 65 and interest groups  46, 47 and market orientation  53, 54, 55, 56, 57–​8, 65 and planting flexibility  53, 54, 56, 57, 58, 64 and policy actors  46, 47–​51 and policy change  13, 45 and policy instruments  46, 49, 52, 53, 55–​6, 60

counter-​cyclical element/​ instrument  56, 58, 62, 63–​6 and policy problems  13, 47–​50, 61, 63 and political constructivism  47, 48–​9, 50 and problem-​solution associations  13, 46–​51, 53, 57–​8, 61–​7 and risk/​r isk management  57, 59, 64, 65, 66 and subsidization  58, 59 see also Farm Bills, US agricultural production  53, 80 Agriculture Committee, US Congress  50, 51, 54, 56, 58, 59 Agriculture, Conservation, and Rural Enhancement Act, US  56 agriculture, France  78, 80–​1, 86 agriculture, global  57, 67n3 Air Liquide  122 Akerlof, G.A.  106 algae blooms, Brittany  78–​81, 84–​5 Allison, G.  11 Alons, Gerry  13, 45–​67 Alstom  122, 126 American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF)  51, 53, 59, 62 Amsterdam  176 anglers  75, 76, 78, 86 antisublimation  122 ArcelorMittal  122, 126, 131 argument filter  8–​9 argumentation  94, 110–​11, 158 argumentative coupling  13, 21–​39, 158 and coupling logics  25, 27–​8 and information/​knowledge  26–​7, 38, 39n1 and meaning  26, 38 non-​coupling arguments  27, 39n2

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and policy process  28, 30, 39n4 and policy streams  22, 27, 28–​9, 35 and problem-​solving  21, 24, 27–​8 and problem streams  22, 25, 27, 28–​9, 35 and solution deconstruction  28–​30, 33–​7, 38, 39 and solution definition  22–​3, 26–​8, 38 see also coupling process; pension policy ARUP  180, 187n18 Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE)  60 B Bachrach, P. and Baratz, M.S.  1 Bell, D.  7 binding process  12, 22, 45–​67, 73–​89, 137–​49, 151–​68, 177 and agricultural policy  13, 47–​50, 58, 63 and coalitions/​coalition building  50, 66 and environmental/​ecological indicators  14, 78, 81–​5, 86, 88 and higher education governance 15–​16, 163, 164–​6 and immigration integration policies  145, 147, 148 rebinding  49, 58 and targeting  138, 145, 147, 148 biodiversity issues  74, 82–​5, 88 bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) project  129, 130, 131 biomethane  129, 135n11 biotic indicators  74–​8, 84–​5, 87 Bipartisan Policy Center  61 Blum, Sonja  13, 21–​39 Blyth, M.  30, 35, 39n5 boundaries  140, 174, 176 Bourblanc, Magalie  14, 73–​89 Bridgen, P.  29 Brouwer, S. and Biermann, F.  100 Budget Control Act, US  60–​1 budgetary implications  96 Buntenbach, Annelie  35 Bureau des Recherches Géologiques et Minières (BRGM)  119, 120, 124–​6, 135n7 Bush, George W., administration  55 C Callon, M.  16, 174, 185 capitalism versus socialism  6–​8 car industry  101, 180 car-​sharing  180, 187n17 car use  176, 178, 179, 183, 184 carbon capture and storage (CCS), France  14–​15, 118–​34

and climate change  119–​20, 121, 122–​3, 126–​7 and co-​construction  116, 132 and coalitions/​coalition building  128, 132–​3 decarbonization  118, 119, 130, 131 and European Union (EU)  119, 120, 123–​6, 128–​9 and experts  129, 130, 131, 132, 133–​4 and fossil fuel industries  15, 121, 123, 127–​8 and implementation of policy  14, 117, 124, 132, 134 and industrialists  116, 121–​4, 126, 127–​8, 132, 133 and media coverage  124, 125, 126 and public forum  124–​7, 132, 133, 135n9 and R&D  119–​21, 122, 128, 129, 130–​2, 134 and social acceptability  124–​7, 129, 133 and spaces of dispute  14–​15, 116, 118, 131, 132, 133 see also ownership carbon capture sites  128 carbon emissions  14, 115, 123 and road-​space re-​allocation  176, 177, 179 see also carbon capture and storage (CCS), France carbon neutrality  116, 130 carbon stock  84 carbon tax  180 carbon utilization  129 carbon valuation  129 Cegavske, Barbara  156 censorship  162–​3 centralization of higher education  153, 154, 155, 156, 159 Chailleux, Sébastien  14–​15, 115–​34 chancellor, Nevada college  152, 157, 159–​60, 162–​4, 165, 167 Chirac, Jacques  121 Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Germany  32, 33 Christian Social Union (CSU), Germany  32, 33 City Mapper platform  184 clarification task  9 climate change  14–​15, 115–​34 and carbon capture and storage  119–​20, 121, 122–​3, 126–​7 and road-​space re-​allocation  177, 179 Clinton administration  52, 53 ‘Club CO2’  120, 131 co-​construction  116, 132

192

Index

coalition actors  15–​16, 151–​68 chancellor, Nevada college  152, 157, 159–​60, 162–​4, 165, 167 Las Vegas coalition  158, 161, 162, 164–​5, 166, 167–​8 coalitions/​coalition building  12, 15–​16, 108–​9, 151–​68 and binding process  50, 66 and carbon capture and storage  128, 132–​3 and conflict  104–​6, 109, 152 discourse coalitions  see also discourse coalitions and entrepreneurs  14, 93–​4, 101, 102–​4, 105 and framing  106–​7, 109 and health care  101, 106, 107 and immigration integration policies  146, 147–​8 and implementation of policy  96, 100 and incentives  14, 101 and meaning  94, 109, 152 and outsiders  96, 103, 104–​5 and ownership  26, 83, 88, 109–​10, 180 and policy actors  94, 99, 100, 102–​8, 109, 110 and policy alternatives  93, 94 policy coalitions  14–​15, 50, 83 and higher education governance  151, 154, 156–​8, 161 and policy streams  94, 99, 100, 102–​4, 109 and policy values  93, 96, 99, 102–​4, 106, 108 and power  94, 98, 101, 110–​11, 152 and risk/​r isk management  100, 107–​8 and short-​term horizons  104–​6, 108 and side payments  100, 101, 110 and targeting  146, 147–​8 see also higher education governance Cobb, R.W.  1, 4, 8, 24, 182 Cohen, M.D.  4 Cohen, N.  100 Collective Integrated Approach  143 college governance, Nevada  151–​68 see also higher education governance college governing boards  154, 157, 161 Commissariat Général au Plan  75, 76, 77 commodity support  57, 64, 65 commuters  176, 182 competition/​competitiveness  15–​17, 32, 174 Conference of the Parties (COP)  127 conflict, political  2, 8, 10 and coalitions/​coalition building  104–​6, 109, 152 and immigration integration policies  15, 16, 137, 146

and value acceptability  104–​6, 109 congestion charging  180, 187n21 Congress, US  Agriculture Committee  50, 51, 54, 56, 58, 59 Democratic party  54, 59, 60, 66 Republican party  52, 55–​6, 58, 60, 64, 66, 67n4 conifer growing  81–​2 constructivism and agricultural policy  47, 48–​9, 50, 66 and immigration integration  137, 138 political  10, 13, 15, 45–​67, 137–​49, 151 pragmatic  94 consultancy firms  178, 180 consultants, hired  157, 159, 161, 162, 165, 166, 167 controversy, public and scientific  73, 74, 78–​9, 80, 81 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)  82–​3, 84 counter-​cyclical element  54 counter-​cyclical element/​instrument  56, 58, 62, 63–​6 coupling process  consequential coupling  25 coupling logics  25, 27–​8 decoupling  179 and agricultural policy  13, 51–​62, 63 and immigration integration policies  141, 143 and pension policy  23–​4, 28–​30, 36, 39 doctrinal coupling  25 final couplings  22–​3, 25–​6 “pre-​coupling”  25, 26 and road-​space re-​allocation  178, 179, 181 see also argumentative coupling crime policies  93, 96 crop insurance  58, 59, 62, 65 Cuban missile crisis  10 Culpepper, P.D.  133 curbside management  178–​83, 186n10, 186n11, 186n13, 187n15, 187n17 cyclists  185 D Dahl, R.A. and Lindblom, C.E.  6 data collection and sharing  178, 179, 184 de Gaulle, Charles  75 De La Garza, Kika  54 deadwood indicator  83–​5, 88 debate participation  104–​5 decentralization  143 and higher education governance  153, 154, 155, 159, 162–​3 decoupling  see coupling process

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THE POLITICAL FORMULATION OF POLICY SOLUTIONS

deficiency payments  52–​5, 56, 64 democracy, elitist  7–​8 Democratic party, US  54, 59, 60, 66 demographic change  13, 23, 31, 32 Department of Education, Nevada  156 detergents  79 Deventer, Netherlands  147 direct income payments  46, 56–​7, 58, 59, 61–​2, 63 Directorate-​General for Research and Innovation, EU  120 Directorate of Energy, France  121 discourse coalitions  9–​10, 14, 93–​111, 151–​68 discursive practices  15, 48, 152, 154, 156, 158, 167 and higher education governance 15–​16, 151–​2, 154, 164–​6, 167–​8 see also entrepreneurs, policy; policy networks diversity, social and racial  143, 164–​5 Doha round  60, 64, 65, 67n3 Dolan, D.  25 Durnova, A. and Zittoun, P.  109 E Ecole des Mines, Paris  122 economic crisis  33–​4, 60, 126, 182 economic policy  6–​8, 164–​5 economic policy instruments  76 economic stagnation  63, 64, 65 EDF  122, 131 education  143, 145 see also higher education governance Educational Council, Dutch  145 efficiency  9–​10, 13, 138 and higher education governance  154, 159–​60 electric vehicles  180 elites, urban  16, 175 employer organizations  31 engineering industry  180 entrepreneurs, policy  and coalitions/​coalition building  14, 93–​4, 101, 102–​4, 105 and pension policy  25, 31 and value acceptability  99, 100, 101, 102–​4, 105 Environment Department, Lisbon  184 environmental/​ecological indicators  73–​89 and binding process  14, 78, 81–​5, 86, 88 and biotic indicators  74–​8, 84–​5, 87 deadwood indicator  83–​5, 88 phosphates/​phosphorous indicator  78, 79 and controversy  73, 74, 78–​9, 80, 81

and experts  76–​7, 78, 79, 80–​1, 84, 87–​8 NGOs  78, 79, 82, 83, 127 and health indicators  75, 77 and lock-​in effects  14, 85, 87 and monitoring  77, 82–​3, 84, 87 and multiple streams  74, 78–​81, 82, 84, 85, 86, 88 and ownership  14, 77, 83, 88 and policy instruments  14, 73, 88–​9 and policy problems  83, 85, 86, 88 and pollution  78–​81, 84–​5, 87 water pollution  74, 75–​8 and public health  75, 76, 77, 78, 86 and scientific indicators  74, 78, 79, 80, 89 and spaces of dispute  14, 83 and taxation  76, 77 and visibility  86–​7, 89 and water commission  76, 77, 86 and water quaity  74–​8, 80 environmental goals  51 environmental issues  145, 185 Environmental Working Group (EWG)  55, 61 Equinor  128 EU CCS Directive  131 Europe/​European Union (EU)  82 and carbon capture and storage  119, 120, 123–​6, 128–​9 and road-​space re-​allocation  180, 184 European Commission  123 European Council  123 European Energy Program for Recovery  126 European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)  129 European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS)  123, 126 eutrophication  78, 79, 86 expectation  104 expertise  26 experts, policy  4, 7, 11 experts, technical/​scientific  14, 73–​89, 178 and carbon capture and storage  129, 130, 131, 132, 133–​4 and environmental/​ecological indicators  76–​7, 78, 79, 80–​1, 84, 87–​8 and ownership  116–​17, 119–​21, 133–​4 and policy instruments  14, 73, 76, 88–​9 Export Enhancement Program  54 extra-​payment pension  37 F Factor 4 policies, France  120, 121, 130 fairness  180, 181, 185

194

Index

Farm 21 plan  59 Farm Bills, US  45–​6, 50–​1, 63–​6 Farm Bill 1973  52 Farm Bill 1996  52–​5, 63, 64 Farm Bill 2002  55–​8, 63, 64 Farm Bill 2008  58–​60, 63, 65 Farm Bill 2014  60–​2, 63, 65 farm payments, decoupling of  13, 45–​67 see also agricultural policy, US farm programmes  45, 50, 53, 54, 56, 63–​6 Farm, Ranch, Equity, Stewardship, and Health Act  59 farm safety net  54, 56, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63 Farm Security Act, US  56 farmers’ union  80–​1 feasibility, technical  96, 124–​7 financial sector  32, 34 Fischer, Frank  1–​17 Flake, Jeff  59 food security  52 forest biodiversity  74, 84, 88 forest policy makers  84 forests, French  81–​5 fossil fuel industries  15, 121, 123, 127–​8, 130, 133 Foucault, Michel  11 framing  106–​7, 109, 146, 147, 174 France  agriculture  78, 80–​1, 86 and carbon capture and storage  115–​16, 119–​21, 126, 128–​9, 130 Free Democratic Party (FDP), Germany  32 ‘freedom to farm’ proposal, US  54, 55 freight traffic  181 G Gál, R.I. and Monostori, J.  21 Galbraith, J.K.  7 garbage-​can perspective  21, 24, 27, 28 General Guideline for the Conservation of the Biodiversity (Resolution H2)  82 generalization  143 generic policy  15, 137, 141–​4, 148 German economy  32, 34 Germany  see pension policy Gingras, Y.  74 Global CCS Institute  115 Gould, K.A.  86–​7 governing board structure  153, 155 governing boards in higher education, US  152–​5 see also higher education governance Great Depression  52 Green Party, France  82 Greenpeace  127

group-​targeted policy  142, 143, 144 guest workers  142 Gusfield, J.  10, 116 H Hajer, M.A.  108, 110 Hall, P.  29, 30 Halpern, Charlotte  16, 173–​86 Hassenteufel, P. and Zittoun, P.  27, 158 health care, US  101, 106, 107 health indicators  75, 77 Heclo, H. and Wildavsky, A.  4, 11 hidden spaces  and higher education governance  156, 158–​62 and immigration integration policies  145–​6, 148 and policy formulation  2, 4–​5 High Council for Fisheries  76 higher education governance  151–​68 and binding process  15–​16, 163, 164–​6 and coalitions/​coalition building  156–​8, 161 discourse coalitions  15–​16, 151–​2, 154, 164–​6, 167–​8 and college governing boards  152–​5, 157, 161 and decentralization  153, 154, 155, 159, 162–​3 and efficiency  154, 159–​60 and hired consultants  157, 159, 161, 162, 165, 166, 167 and Latino communities  158, 164 and legislative process  161, 162, 163, 164, 165, 166, 167 and legislative testimony  159–​61, 164 and legitimacy  161, 167 and media coverage  161, 163 and opacity  158, 159, 161–​2 and ownership  154–​5, 167 and policy actors  154, 157, 158, 167–​8 chancellor, Nevada college  152, 157, 159–​60, 162–​4, 165, 167 Las Vegas coalition  158, 161, 162, 164–​5, 166, 167–​8 and policy change  151, 153, 155, 156, 157–​8, 167 and policy formulation  138, 140, 145, 146, 148–​9 and policy ideas  151, 154–​5, 156–​7, 158–​64, 166, 167 and policy problems  154, 159–​60, 167 policy process  162, 163, 164, 166 and policy spaces  155, 156, 158–​62 and policy statements  152, 155, 158, 161, 164–​6, 167 and power  16, 152, 157, 162, 163, 166, 167

195

THE POLITICAL FORMULATION OF POLICY SOLUTIONS

and university regents  157, 159, 160, 161, 162, 164, 165–​6 holistic approach  173, 181 Hood, C.  176 horizons, short-​term  104–​6, 108 housing  74–​5, 143, 148 Houten, Netherlands  147 hydrogen  129 I identity  116, 133, 140 IFN (national forest inventory)  82, 84 immigration integration policies  15, 137–​49 and binding process  145, 147, 148 and coalitions/​coalition building  146, 147–​8 and conflict  15, 16, 146 and decoupling  141, 143 and education  143, 145 and framing  146, 147 and generic policy  15, 137, 141–​4, 148 and group-​targeted policy  142, 143, 144 and hidden spaces  145–​6, 148 and housing  143, 148 and indirect policy  141–​4, 148 and language programmes  147, 148 and policy instruments  15, 144, 148 and policy problems  138, 140, 146, 147, 148 and political constructivism  137, 138 and public opinion/​support  145–​6, 147–​8, 155 and refugees  142, 147 and taboos  15, 137, 141, 144–​5, 146, 147, 148 and targeting  137–​9, 141–​9 implementation of policy  176–​7 and carbon capture and storage  14, 117, 124, 132, 134 and coalitions/​coalition building  96, 100 and pension policy  28, 29 incentives  and agricultural policy  46, 53 and coalitions/​coalition building  14, 101 and environmental/​ecological indicators  53, 76, 77 income support  52, 56, 57, 58–​9, 65 indirect policy  141–​4, 148 industrialists  116, 121–​4, 126, 127–​8, 132, 133 INERIS  120 inflation policies  6–​8 information/​knowledge  162–​3

and argumentative coupling  26–​7, 38, 39n1 information technology  7–​8 INRA (national institute for agronomic research, France)  76 Institut Français du Pétrole et des Energies Nouvelles (IFPEN)  119, 120, 122, 126, 131, 134n2 Institutional Service Areas committee  159, 160, 162 institutionalization  102–​4 institutions  49, 160 interessement/​interestment process  and ownership  118, 134n1 and road-​space re-​allocation  16, 174, 177, 180–​2, 185 interest groups  79, 102, 167 and agricultural policy  46, 47, 51 International Energy Agency (IEA)  126 International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)  120 International Transport Forum (ITF)  179, 187n16 issue networks  98, 103, 132 J Jervis, R.  107 Jones, C.O.  4 Jordan, A.J. and Turnpenny, J.R.  3 juridical regimes  11 justice, social  181, 185 K Kennedy, John F.  7 ‘Kerbflex’  180 see also curbside management Kind, Ron  59 Kingdon, J.W,  2, 4 and coupling process  22, 25–​6, 38, 116 and policy alternatives  93, 94, 97–​8, 103 and policy streams  22, 28 Koop, C.  97–​108 Kyoto protocol  121 L Lake Geneva  79 land use  181 language  94, 109 language programmes  147, 148 Las Vegas metorpolitan business chamber  157–​8 Las Vegas,Nevada  155, 156 Las Vegas coalition  158, 161, 162, 164–​5, 166, 167–​8 Lasswell, H.D.  8 Latino communities  158, 164

196

Index

legislative process  161, 162, 163, 164, 165, 166, 167 legitimacy  and higher education governance  161, 167 and ownership  77, 117, 121, 134 Lindblom, C.E.  3–​4, 6, 7 Lindvall, J. and Rueda, D.  103 Lisbon  182, 183–​5 loans, non-​recourse  53, 54, 67n2 local advisory committees  165 local authorities  179, 184, 187n21 lock-​in effects, institutional  14, 85, 87 Loewenstein, G.  106 logic  27, 28, 100 London  176, 180, 187n21 Low Carbon Strategy for 2050, France  130 Lugar, Richard  54, 57, 59 Lukes, S.  110 M Mahoney, W.A.  103 Majone, G.  11 Malmö, Sweden  182–​3, 187n27 market orientation  53, 54, 55, 56, 57–​8, 65 Martinez, Magdalena  15, 151–​68 McDermott, R.  107 meaning, social and political  9, 12 and argumentative coupling  26, 38 and coalitions/​coalition building  94, 109, 152 meaning in action  15, 138 and targeting  15, 138, 148, 149 media coverage  and carbon capture and storage  124, 125, 126 and higher education governance  161, 163 Meijerink, S. and Huitema, D.  100, 102 metrics system  85, 88 Meyer, T.  36 Michelin  180, 187n17 Michigan, US  153 minimum pension scheme  23, 37 Ministerial Conferences on the Protection of Forests in Europe (MCPFE) 82–​3, 84 Ministry of Agriculture, France  76, 81, 82, 83–​4 Ministry of Ecology, France  121, 130 Ministry of Industry, France  121 Ministry of Interior and Kingdom Affairs, Dutch  140 Ministry of Justice, Dutch  140 Ministry of Social Affairs, Dutch  140 Ministry of the Environment, France  82, 83

Mobility Department, Lisbon  184 mobility services  177 mobility technologies  177–​8 mobility, urban  16, 180, 184 monitoring  77, 82–​3, 84, 87, 176 multi-​pillar paradigm  31–​7 Multiple Streams Framework (MSF)  48 and environmental/​ecological indicators  74, 78–​81, 82, 84, 85, 86, 88 and pension policy  22, 25, 27, 28–​9, 35 and policy alternatives  93, 94, 95–​6 and value acceptability  97, 98, 99–​100 see also policy streams; politics streams; problem streams N Nahles, Andrea Maria  36 Natali, D.  29 National Association of State Departments of Agriculture  53 National Corn Association Representative  59 National Farmers Union (NFU)  51, 53, 59 National Forest Funds  82 National Low Carbon Strategy 2020, France  116 neighbourhood policy  142–​3 NER 300 programme, EU  123, 126, 128, 131 Netherlands  142 Nevada System of Higher Education  156, 163 Nevada, US  155–​8, 164–​5 New York Times  61 NGOs, environmental  78, 79, 82, 83, 127 nitrates indicator  78–​81 Northern Light Project  128 Norway  128–​9 nutrition programmes  50 Nyhamnen, Malmö  183 O Obamacare  101 Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI)  128, 131 older people  35, 185 O’Neill, R. and Nadaï, A.  122, 123 outsiders  96, 103, 104–​5 ownership  10, 12, 17n2, 17n3, 73–​89, 115–​34, 173–​86 and carbon capture and storage  116–​24, 127–​31, 133–​4 and experts  116–​17, 119–​21, 133–​4 and industrialists  116, 121–​4, 126, 127–​8, 132, 133

197

THE POLITICAL FORMULATION OF POLICY SOLUTIONS

and interessement/​interestment process  118, 134n1 co-​ownership  117, 121–​4, 127–​31, 133–​4 and coalitions/​coalition building  26, 83, 88, 109–​10, 180 and environmental/​ecological indicators  14, 77, 83, 88 and higher education governance 154–​5, 167 and identity  116, 133 and legitimacy  77, 117, 121, 134 and pension policy  28, 31–​2 and road-​space re-​allocation  16, 177, 180, 182–​3, 185 and targeted publics  116, 117, 121, 133, 134 oxycombustion  122 oxygen demand indicator  75, 76, 87 P parking, curbside  see curbside management pay-​as-​you-​go pension system  23, 31, 34 payments, direct income  46, 56–​7, 58, 59, 61–​2, 63 payoff  107 pedestrians  176, 186n6 pension contributions  40n10 pension policy  13, 23–​4, 29, 31–​7, 38, 99 and decoupling  23–​4, 28–​30, 36, 39 and demographic change  13, 23, 31, 32 and entrepreneurs  25, 31 extra-​payment pension  37 and implementation of policy  28, 29 minimum pension scheme  23, 37 and Multiple Streams Framework  22, 25, 27, 28–​9, 35 and ownership  28, 31–​2 pay-​as-​you-​go pension system  23, 31, 34 and policy change  13, 23, 29 and policy formulation  23, 24 private/​public pension provision  33, 36–​7 Reister pension  31, 33–​7, 38, 39n7, 39n9 and softening up process  22, 24–​6, 37, 38 and spaces of dispute  13, 50 and upcycling  23, 30, 37, 39 and welfare state transformation  31, 34 see also argumentative coupling Perlow, L.A.  105 phosphates/​phosphorous indicator  78, 79 place-​making strategies  175, 184 Plan de lutte contre les algues vertes  78 planning regulations  183

planting flexibility  53, 54, 56, 57, 58, 64 policy actors  9–​10 and agricultural policy  46, 47–​51 anglers  75, 76, 78, 86 and carbon capture and storage  129 and industrialists  116, 121–​4, 126, 127–​8, 132, 133 and coalitions/​coalition building  94, 99, 100, 102–​8, 109, 110 and higher education governance  154, 157, 158, 167–​8 chancellor, Nevada college  152, 157, 159–​60, 162–​4, 165, 167 Las Vegas coalition  158, 161, 162, 164–​5, 166, 167–​8 interest groups  46, 47, 51, 79, 102, 167 and road-​space re-​allocation  180, 185 targeted publics  116, 117, 121, 133, 134 policy alternatives  see binding process; coalitions/​coalition building; coupling process; entrepreneurs, policy; experts, technical/​ scientific; ownership; policy actors; policy instruments policy change  66, 107, 123 and agricultural policy  13, 45 and higher education governance  151, 153, 155, 156, 157–​8, 167 and pension policy  13, 23, 29 policy coalitions  see coalitions/​ coalition building policy communities  99, 102, 111n1, 151 see also policy networks policy formulation  1–​17 and higher education governance  138, 140, 145, 146, 148–​9 and pension policy  23, 24 policy ideas  151, 154–​5, 156–​7, 158–​64, 166, 167 policy instruments  6–​8, 152 and agricultural policy  46, 49, 52, 53, 55–​6, 60 counter-​cyclical element/​ instrument  56, 58, 62, 63–​6 and environmental/​ecological indicators  14, 73, 88–​9 and experts  14, 73, 76, 88–​9 and immigration integration  15, 144, 148 and road-​space re-​allocation  176, 184 policy networks  132 and policy streams  95, 96–​7, 98, 99, 102–​4, 111n1 policy ownership  see ownership policy problems  15, 47–​50 and agricultural policy  13, 47–​50, 61, 63

198

Index

and environmental/​ecological indicators  83, 85, 86, 88 and higher education governance  154, 159–​60, 167 and immigration integration  138, 140, 146, 147, 148 policy process  1–​17, 22, 80–​1, 109–​10 and argumentative coupling  28, 30, 39n4 and higher education governance  162, 163, 164, 166 see also coalitions/​coalition building; Multiple Streams Framework (MSF); ownership policy reversal/​revision  29, 30, 38 policy spaces  11, 155, 156, 158–​62 policy statements  152, 155, 158, 161, 164–​6, 167 policy streams  and coalitions/​coalition building  94, 99, 100, 102–​4, 109 and environmental/​ecological indicators  84, 85 and pension policy  22, 27, 28–​9, 35 policy values  93, 96, 99, 102–​4, 106, 108 political coalitions  see coalitions/​ coalition building political context  146 political strategy  27, 28, 162–​4 political values  93 politics, quiet  133, 134 politics streams  and binding process  79, 80–​1, 84, 85 and pension policy  25, 27, 28, 29 pollution  74, 75–​81, 84–​5, 87, 124, 179 populist parties  141–​2 Portugal  183–​5 poverty  35 power  4, 10 ideational  94, 98, 110 institutional  47, 94, 110 political  12, 151–​68 and coalitions/​coalition building  94, 98, 101, 110–​11, 152 and higher education governance  16, 152, 157, 162, 163, 166, 167 and road-​space re-​allocation  176, 182 Pressman, J.L. and Wildavsky, A.B.  117 price support policies  52 problem-​solution associations  13, 46–​51, 53, 57–​8, 61–​7 problem-​solving  24, 27–​8 problem-​solving logic  21, 27, 28, 48 problem streams  25, 27, 28–​9, 35, 85, 95 problematization  16, 63, 174, 177–​9, 185 process duration  106 procrastination  32, 106

productivism  82 Programme ProLittoral-​Bretagne Eau Pure  80 prospect theory  107 PTV group  178, 179 public forum  124–​7, 132, 133, 135n9 public health, France  75, 76, 77, 78, 86 public, informed  95 public opinion/​support  145–​6, 147–​8, 155 public-​private partnerships  122 publics, targeted  116, 117, 121, 133, 134 R refugees  142, 147 regionalism, metropolitan  155–​6 relationships, strong  4 renewable energy  124, 126 Reno, Nevada  84, 155 Republican party, US  52, 55–​6, 58, 60, 64, 66, 67n4 research and development (R&D) 119–​21, 122, 128, 129, 130–​2, 134 responsibility  76–​7, 144 retail industry  176, 177, 181 retirement age, Germany  33 Riester pension  31, 33–​7, 38, 39n7, 39n9 Riester, W.  32–​3 Rijswijk, Netherlands  147 Riker, W.  101 risk/​r isk management  124 and agricultural policy  57, 59, 64, 65, 66 and coalitions/​coalition building  100, 107–​8 road construction  180 road safety  182–​3, 187n27 road-​space re-​allocation  16, 173–​86 and car-​sharing  180, 187n17 and car use  176, 178, 179, 183, 184 congestion charging  180, 187n21 and curbside management  178–​83, 186n10, 186n11, 186n13, 187n15, 187n17 and data collection and sharing  178, 179, 184 and fairness  180, 181, 185 and holistic approach  173, 181 and interessement  16, 174, 177, 180–​2, 185 and local authorities  179, 184, 187n21 and London  176, 180, 187n21 and Malmö, Sweden  182–​3, 187n27 and modes of transportation  173, 175, 177 and new technologies  177–​8, 179, 181, 184 and ownership  16, 177, 180, 182–​3, 185

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THE POLITICAL FORMULATION OF POLICY SOLUTIONS

and place-​making strategies  175, 184 and policy instruments  176, 184 and power  176, 182 and problematization  174, 177–​9, 185 and public space  179, 181, 184 and safety  182–​3, 187n27 and social justice  181, 185 and standardization  174, 178–​9, 180, 181, 182 and sustainability  16, 174, 175, 177 and technical solutions  178, 182, 183 and traffic planning  178, 179, 182, 183, 184 and transport industry  178, 179, 180, 181 and urban mobility  16, 180, 184 and urban planning  174–​5, 177, 182, 183, 184 and urban road networks  173, 175, 177–​8, 180, 181, 184, 185 Roberts, Pat  54, 55 Rochefort, D.A. and Cobb, R.W.  1, 8, 24, 182 Roosevelt, Franklin D.  52 rural areas  50 S Sætren, H.  107 sanctions  101 Sarkozy, Nicolas  121 Schattschneider, E.E.  1, 8, 104 Schlumberger  122, 126, 131 Schmähl, W.  31 Schnieber-​Jastram, B.  33 Schumer-​Zimmer Farm Freedom Act  54 scientific indicators  74, 78, 79, 80, 89 Seehofer, Horst  35–​6 segregation  143 shared services model  160 Shell  128 side payments  100, 101, 110 Simon, H.A.  3 Social Democratic Party (SDP), Germany  33, 34 social insurance  31, 34 socialism versus capitalism  6–​8 softening up process  22, 24–​6, 37, 38 solution creation and survival  12–​13 solution deconstruction  28–​30, 33–​7, 38, 39 solution definition  22–​3, 26–​8, 38 solutions, market-​based  14–​15 solutions, technical  14, 178, 182, 183 space, public  179, 181, 184 spaces of dispute  10, 11, 12–​13 and carbon capture and storage  14–​15, 116, 118, 131, 132, 133

and environmental/​ecological indicators  14, 83 and pension policy  13, 50 spaces, policy  11, 155 and hidden spaces  2, 4–​5, 145–​6, 148, 156, 158–​62 standardization  174, 178–​9, 180, 181, 182 state per pupil allocations  156 status quo  106–​8, 162 statutory indicators  76 Stiller, S.  30, 32–​3, 35, 38 stream independence  25 streams  see Multiple Streams Framework (MSF); policy streams; politics streams; problem streams street typology framework  176 street use  see curbside management subsidization  31, 58, 59, 101, 156 Sunfleet  187n17 sustainability  16, 174, 175, 177 Switzerland  79 T taboos  15, 137, 141, 144–​5, 146, 147, 148 targeting  137–​9, 141–​9 and binding process  138, 145, 147, 148 and coalition building  146, 147–​8 and meaning  15, 138, 148, 149 targeted publics  116, 117, 121, 133, 134 see also immigration integration policies taxation  76, 77, 101 technologies, new  177–​8, 179, 181, 184 temporal discounting  105, 106 testimony, legislative  159–​61, 164 Tilburg, Netherlands  147–​8 time famine  108, 109 time stress  105–​6 Total  122–​3, 124, 126, 128, 131, 135n7 Touraine, A.  7 tourism industry  181 traffic planning  178, 179, 182, 183, 184 transilience  118, 132 transparency/​visibility  86–​7, 89, 161 opacity  158, 159, 161–​2 transport industry  178, 179, 180, 181 transportation, modes of  173, 175, 177 U Ultra-​Low CO2 Steelmaking (ULCOS)  121, 126, 131 university regents  157, 159, 160, 161, 162, 164, 165–​6 upcycling  23, 30, 37, 39, 159 Upstream project  139

200

Index

urban areas  50 urban design, healthy  181 urban mobility  16, 180, 184 urban planning  174–​5, 177, 182, 183, 184 Urban Planning Department, Lisbon  184 urban regeneration  184 urban road networks  173, 175, 177–​8, 180, 181, 184, 185 V value acceptability  97–​109 and conflict  104–​6, 109 and entrepreneurs  99, 100, 101, 102–​4, 105 and framing  106–​7, 109 and health care  106, 107 and Multiple Streams Framework  93, 97, 98, 99–​100 see also coalitions/​coalition building Van Breugel, Ilona  15, 137–​49 venues  102 Vinci  180, 187n17 Vision Zero strategy, Sweden  182, 187n27 Vissim software  178–​9, 180, 183, 186n12, 187n14 Volvo  180, 187n17 von der Leyen, Ursula  37

W Waller, M.J.  105 water commission  76, 77, 86 water-​management  79 water pollution  74, 75–​8 water quality  74–​8, 80 water supplies, France  75–​8 Weiner, S.S.  104 welfare, social  31, 34, 55 White House  51, 61 Wildavsky, A.B.  4, 11, 24, 117 will, political  107 wine, quality of  124 Winkel, G. and Leipold, S.  30 workforce grants programme  165 World Bank  35 World Trade Organization (WTO)  58, 60, 62, 65 WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities  173 Z Zahariadis, Nikolaos  1–​17, 24, 39n6, 105 and coupling process  25, 26 and discourse coalition  14, 93–​111 and Exadaktylos, T.  28, 100 Zero Emission Platform (ZEP)  123, 124, 128, 131 Zittoun, Philippe  1–​17, 27, 109, 158

201

Hubert Heinelt, Technical University of Darmstadt

In this book, an international group of public policy scholars revisit the stage of formulating policy solutions by investigating the basic political dimensions inherent to this critical phase of the policy process.

Frank Fischer is a senior research scholar at the AlbrechtDaniel-Thaer Institute of the Humboldt University in Berlin and a research fellow in politics at Kassel University.

The book focuses attention on how policy makers craft their policy proposals, match them with public problems, debate their feasibility to build coalitions, and dispute their acceptability as serious contenders for government consideration. Based on international case studies, this book is an invitation to examine the uncertain and often indeterminate aspects of policy making using qualitative analysis embedded in a political perspective.

Nikolaos Zahariadis is Mertie Buckman Chair and Professor of International Studies at Rhodes College in Memphis, USA.

ISBN 978-1-5292-1034-7

9 781529 210347

B R I S TO L

@BrisUniPress BristolUniversityPress bristoluniversitypress.co.uk

@policypress

EDITED BY PHILIPPE ZIT TOUN, FRANK FISCHER, AND NIKOL AOS Z AH ARI ADIS

Philippe Zittoun is Research Professor of Political Science at LAET, ENTPE, University of Lyon and General Secretary of the International Public Policy Association.

TH E PO LI TI C AL FO RMUL ATI O N O F POLICY SOLUTIONS

“This book offers a useful and original contribution to current debates in policy analysis by highlighting the fundamental role of policy formulation in the political process and seeking to fill gaps in its study.”

THE POLITICAL FORMUL ATION OF POLICY SOLUTIONS ARGU M ENTS , ARENA S , AND COALITION S EDITED BY PHILIPPE ZIT TOU N , FR A N K FI SCHER , A N D NIKOL AOS Z A H A RI A DI S